Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Knitting Mojo - You're Back!

I was not surprised to lose my mojo after all the projects I did. I made 8 pairs of Irish Ewe slippers, several dishcloths, 4 hats(well one was for me), bibs and baby booties and a sweater for my DH.

So after Christmas I just stopped - I didn't even look at the new Knitting Books that Dad gave me for my birthday - well ok, that isn't quite true. I did look but I didn't really LOOK if you get my meaning. There are some awesome patterns in these books and they can all be made with one skein of yarn.

So yesterday I dug out my beautiful knitting bag that my sister gave me for my birthday and I cast on for a ribbed hat that calls for the yarn I had leftover from making my DH's sweater. So now he'll get a new hat too and he won't be the only one in the house without a new hat. My DD is the proud owner of a nice beret in Cascade 220(Mimosa) and my DS is sporting a ribbed hat in Mission Falls 1824 Wool, which is very warm indeed.

I think a small project is just the thing to get my into the groove again - I can see a lot of projects being made from the 'One Skein' books as they take little time and investment and they are nice projects.

Here's the beginning of his hat and it is sitting on the knitting bag from my sis.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Birthday Surprises

Sometimes you still get surprised. A balloon-a-gram was just delivered to me. I had no idea who sent it and then I saw the card and it read - 'Who says December birthdays aren't special', it was sent by a new co-worker, a lady who is taking care of the elderly in our parish, too nice indeed! The balloon-a-gram is weighted down with a little sack of candies.

Then my boss stopped in and brought me some kahlua chocolates. It's an ongoing joke between us. A few years ago the school next door sent us some candies and I had some of the chocolates on my desk and when I came into work after the weekend they were gone. So that year I had this giant tube given to me full of the chocolates from him for my birthday and now it seems it's a tradition - too cute.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things I find addicting...

Well aside from ice cream - isn't that just plain obvious, I mean really - it's ice know ice creamy goodness that comes in all sorts of flavors. Oh sorry I had to wipe the monitor, I haven't even eaten supper yet so the idea of ice cream, well you know!

No I have a few other addictions and being that it's coming to the end of the year it's time to fess up and tell you all how I bide waste my time.

Facebook - yes I spend a lot of time on Facebook. It's mostly work time, shhhhhh don't tell my boss! I like updating my status, checking out other people's status and commenting when I feel I have something interesting to add.

WordTwist - another of my Facebook addictions. I love this game and I really only know one friend who plays it regularly and when she doesn't play I go into withdrawl. So if you're on facebook and you know me, let's play shall we. I need to keep up my game.

Blogging - Ok - well this one is pretty obvious. I did the Nablopomo and that was hard. I generally am reading blogs every day if I don't get a chance to post. I just have to check in with all my friends and see what's new in their neck of the woods.

Knitting and Planning Knitting/Yarn Shopping - yes, I think about knitting a lot and if I am not knitting I like to shop for yarn or at least window shop for yarn via It's fun to look for yarn and I like it even better when my sis joins me and we shop across the miles together. A good time wasting activity.

T.V. - We do have a great deal of t.v. shows we like to watch. They include all C.S.I's, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Samantha Who(I love this show), American Idol(on occasion) and a few more. I even am a soap addict, well I only watch one soap and I DVR it for watching at a later time. I sometimes in a hurry will go through the list of lined up shows to watch and just get the info and it's sad to say I can pretty much keep up with it just by reading the one sentence info tag, but I am an AMC fan. I used to watch Another World back in the day and I was off soaps for years when they took it away.

So these are just a few of the things that can sometimes prevent me from being productive - well except for the knitting, that is a really productive hobby and I have a lot of items to prove it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy Mother of.....

As you can see it is bloody cold! It's so cold the dog won't even walk to the backyard to do his business, we've taken to carry him as we've yet to find boots that stay on his feet. That will be one of my new missions, find really good boots that stay on and get him wearing them. We've now got him wearing a coat.

I wish it was a 'snow day' but unfortunately I have to head out in this to go to work. All I really want to do is stay snuggled inside where it's warm and drink hot tea!

Why on earth are we getting January weather mid December?????

Edited to Add: I guess we've not been this cold in some time. I went to plug our car in here at work and I couldn't see the block heater cord so I popped the hood up and looked underneath and still didn't see it. Finally I looked and saw a capped cord and wondered if that was it, it sure was - never been used. We never need to plug in at home as we have an insulated garage and if it's normal winter temps we don't plug in at work either, but this is the kind of weather that has tow truck and taxi cabs 2 hours behind so I knew I needed to get it plugged in. Thankfully DH recommended that I just leave the hood propped and plug in where I found the cord. Tonight when I get home he'll have to fish the cord out for easier access. I'm imagining that it's going to be a quiet here, so quiet it just might be this lonely church mouse here. DH is at home awaiting the stove repairman. Thankfully I am closing the office a bit early to go and get a haircut!! Oh, time to put on tea and warm up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And the Winner Is....

Without further are the comments from guest judge Dawn. I don't envy her this task, there were so many beautiful pictures from all entries. And as you can see, she too had a tough time and had good things to say about all entries. I'm including all of her comments as she had many good things to say about all the entries and I think you all deserve to hear them. Thank you for sharing your festive homes with all of us, how wonderful to get a glimpse into all of your lovely homes and see your creative touches at work :)!

Hi Melissa,

Well, this is more difficult than I thought it would be. How is it there are so many people with such wonderful ideas, pretty homes and wonderful photos to show it. I will say a little on each entry because there are elements I like in each one. I should have made up a score card before hand but it is just going to have to be all subjective.

Entry 1: I love how traditional it looks. The stockings not all the same which is nice and the tree is so full of beautiful ornaments and lights. The presents look good too and with the fire going it is very inviting and relaxing.

Entry 2: I love the white tree. It reminds me of the snow covered trees in winter and the blue and silver ornaments are beautiful with it. It appears there are lots of green plants in the home so this would be a perfect contrast with it's freshness and cool colours.

Entry 3: This one is also very traditional looking and the lighting is gorgeous. The burgundy/red in the greenery is lovely with the lights and it is beautiful how the person put the greenery in different parts of the house. The photographer did a good job with lighting and showing the tree from different vantage points in the home.

Entry 4: It is nice to have 2 trees and the white ones look lovely. I think it adds to the scene by having them different sizes. I love the outside deck with the lit up scene. How grand to look out a window and see it. And who couldn't just fall in love with the little doggy in the stocking; how adorable.

Entry 5: What cute cats and they enjoy the tree. The tree and other decorations is lovely and a nice balance between traditional (the patch work tree skirt and some of the decorations along with the red accessories) and a touch of eclectic (some of the ornaments on the curio shelf, the Santa in the chimney, the window lamps). The tree looks beautiful lit up with the coloured lights.

Having said all that, now it is more difficult to choose. I think I will go with my first quick look impression and it is likely my decorating tastes as well; I am not a computer;-). First place goes to Entry 3. It is very warm, inviting, simple but elegant.
So the winner of the prize is Entry #3. I really appreciated Dawn being the one to judge it helped for me to be completely objective. This way anyone could enter. The only info Dawn had about the entries were what was posted here today, she made her decision solely based on that alone. Congrats to pinkrosecottage. Thank you all for entering. I am planning to do this next year and I will ask pinkrosecottage to be the guest judge next time.

You can now claim the best decor badge for your blog and the prize as well!

Christmas Contest Entry #4

Christmas Entry #4

Christmas Contest Entry #5

Christmas Entry #5

Christmas Contest Entry #2

Christmas Entry #2

Christmas Contest Entry #3

Christmas Entry #3

Christmas Contest Entry #1

Christmas Entry #1

Comment Game

I am borrowing this idea from Amy. I'll put in the comments something like hot cocoa or wassail and you pick what you prefer and than add one of your own below it for the next person to comment and watch it change throughout the day, I always enjoy playing this when Amy puts it up. I'll too do a Christmas Edition like Amy is, let's have fun!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Contest UPDATE!!

Since there are only 4 entries and due to my busy weekend, I am going to close the contest at 12:00 p.m. Central Time tomorrow - Friday, December 12 2008 - rather than at midnight. The guest judge will judge them sometime on Friday and I will announce the winner as soon as I hear from her, so it will depend on her schedule as well.

Good luck to all the entrants - it has been fun seeing all Christmas Decorations, so thank you to all who decided to enter and share their photos with me!

Canadian Geese - 'We're tough Eh!'

These here are 'Canadian Geese' and they are tough EH!

Look at them, lying on the snow covered lake, they take turns in the freezing water to keep it from freezing all the way through. They'll stay here as long as possible.

I know you're probably thinking what lazy geese, why don't they just get up and fly South already. But, these geese are tough. They're like the grumpy old man you see shoveling his snow in -50 below weather while everyone else is tucked inside warm and sipping on hot cocoa. No these here are tough ol' birds. They must be to face day after day of sitting on snow covered ice or swimming around in frigid water.

Maybe they just need some toques and long johns and they'll stay here all winter long!

They do take flight now and again - this must be the 'short-straw' task(keeping the water from turning to ice). They probably draw straws and the short-straw gets stuck in the snow while the others fly away and feed on any grain they can find that isn't covered under a snowy white blanket.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Love Baking Now

I guess it doesn't take much to make me happy. I love this new mixer. Not only does it have this handy dandy storage case but I think it looks quite nice. Oh, and yes it works great too! I made a batch of Ginger Snaps the other day and it was a dream to work with , it has a lot of power and it's got a nice heavy weighted feel to it, and you know it can do the job. I've not tried the other beaters, just the regular one. I'm curious about using the 'whisk' attachment.

Next a food processor and this time it's going to be a monster of a machine. I'm so tired of buying the average priced ones that break in less than a year. Any good recommendations on a good one to buy?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Shopping done - baking just getting started

I was so far ahead - or so I thought. Well the shopping is done and for that I am entirely grateful. I don't do well in crowded stores, I am too introverted and crowds make me cranky. Today I am putting the parcel on the bus to Edmonton and then I am officially done getting my parcels to their destinations. Thank goodness for the service Greyhound provides.

Last night I finally started baking. I just haven't had any desire to bake so far. Last year by this time I had all my baking done. I don't know if it was the late snow or what but it I just wasn't in the mood to bake. Last night I started with some Ginger Snaps, which are my DH's favorite. I plan on making something else on Wednesday and Saturday and hopefully soon I'll have it all done and tucked away in the freezer to wait for Christmas.

I had to get a new hand mixer as the last one that I bought had some bare wires where it comes out of the back. So I decided to get a good one and I picked up an Oster and I love it!! It's a really nice hand mixer. I'll post pictures later - yes I'm that happy with it.

One of my sisters and my Mom and I always exchange an ornament each year and I had to pick up one for my Mom as Oliver got at the other one and ate the ribbon off and it looked ugly afterward, silly pooch! So I picked that up and added it to her parcel.

I am thinking of taking photos of the tree this weekend and posting them. Of course don't forget to get entered for the contest, it will be closing this Friday!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Raspberry Mittens

Well with any luck the yarn on the right will turn into these when I'm finished. This is probably my most difficult knitting yet. I am hoping praying that I can accomplish it.

The yarn on the left is for the matching 'Raspberry Beret'(go ahead sing along, you know you want to - caution the song can easily get stuck in your head) that I am working on now, it's nearly finished and oh so lovely. I did a stockinette version and I love how it is turning out. I didn't realize the power of the slouch, apparently it's a must have accessory. A girl at work saw me working on it and immediately asked me to knit one for her. This slouch is quite easy to do either version and very quick.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mmmmm Peppermint Mocha

I stopped on the way home from work on Thursday and tried the new Peppermint Mocha Twist at Starbucks, I just had to try it when I heard the name and, yes it is as delicious as it sounds. I loved the nice red festive cups. Very tasty and festive treat!

We stopped into Chapters to get a gift for our niece and nephew. I wanted to send the 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' to my niece and nephew in Edmonton to add to their Christmas parcel which will be heading on the bus this afternoon and our other niece in town is turning 3 on the 18th and we picked up a lovely treasury of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. It should be perfect for her to sit with and learn the short little nursery rhymes.

Soooooo I had a chance to pick up the gift card - so if you are looking to try the new Peppermint Mocha Twist or if you just want to pick up a regular coffee you can enter the Christmas Decor Contest - it's easy - just submit a picture of some of your holiday decor and a guest judge will determine who's deserves the prize - also included in the prize is 3 Christmas colored dishcloths - handknit by me. Just a teensy little contest for the fun of it!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oliver and his new coat

What a nice coat hey Oliver? Well at least he no longer tries to bite when we put it on. In order to get him used to it we put it on him every time he needs to make a trek outside and now that he's gone for a few walks with it, he's pretty content to wear it. That being said there is no danged way we'll ever get boots on him. To all you owners who not only get boots on your dogs, but get them to stay on when they go walking - I salute you!

For now we'll be happy that not only will it keep him warm, but it has some nice reflective tape so motorists will see us on our walks.