Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First ever!!

Aunt Val planted the seed.  She was my babysitter when I was small, and she introduced me to so many of the things that I love today.  Classical music played on her radio nonstop, she frequently took me thrifting or antiquing, and every once in a while I would see her knitting.  She didn't teach me how, but my interest in knitting started there.  I also remember loving sweaters and scarves (whether I got this from Aunt Val, I don't know). This drove my mother crazy since I often pulled old, moth eaten sweaters from the very back of closets, and anywhere else not usually frequented.  Any pile of old or boxed up clothes was like a treasure chest to me, and to find something knitted was to strike gold.   

In college, my affinity for knitted things, led me to purchase multiple skeins of yarn, random needles, and a book on teaching yourself to knit.  Never mind the fact that the needles and yarn were not what the patterns called for.  I knit a small swatch of practice knits and purls and put my knitting down for a year or so.  Then during my student teaching, I spotted one of my 6th graders crocheting a scarf for her friend.  I went and bought two hooks and started randomly knitting a baby blanket for my soon-to-be-born godson.  I do mean randomly, because I had no idea what I was doing.  Other than reading about how to start a foundation chain, I had no pattern to follow, and just assumed that if I made a big enough rectangle, it could pass for a blanket.  

Yes. I am aware that it sounds a bit naive.  Ok, it was lazy.  Needless to say, I never finished the blanket.  The poor lopsided, uneven thing is waiting (rather anxiously I'm sure) to be unraveled, and actually put to good use.  And there is actually a rather good chance of that happening, since I actually know a double crochet from a treble :)  and seed stitch from garter stitch.  In fact, this extremely long, tedious, and possibly boring historical chapter was written so that I could tell you....I have finally finished a project.!!! 

 Z's first wool soaker!!!  It looks a little snug, because I just pulled it on over her BG 3.0 for the picture.

Don't worry, she won't pull her belly button out.

Spring Giveaways!

This is going to seem like a spam blog. Yep. There are like fifty-two bazillion giveaways this month - and I'm
 entering them all!! Well, probably not "all" know...the ones I don't know about.  

Now, the law of 
 probability says the fewer entries, the more likely one is to win. Right? So why am I telling you?  Apparently, one can increase their own chances by blogging...go figure that.  Increase your chances by possibly increasing the number of entries...sure, I'm game.  So do me a favor and don't enter them okay?
Too much work for what is probably a very low chance that I will win?? Maybe so...but then again...I did just win The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Twitter giveaway.

 So now I'm hooked on giveaways for a while.


Here are several giveaways that you should check out...

  1. Petite Purls has two giveaways:  Copies of both of Amanda Soule's books, and some great yarn.  I have followed Amanda's blog for the past year or so and never not been amazed, inspired, motivated (and a wee bit jealous).  Immediately upon entering any book store, I find myself flipping through these books, hoping for just a glimmer of reinspiration (is that a word?).  My book junkie habits, however, have resulted in home decor that slightly resembles a small county library.  So I have determined to buy no more books until a majority of the ones we own have been read (I haven't decided if former owners count).  I have no such restriction with yarn however...yet.  Still, I would love to win either of these.
  2. Fitteds and pockets and snappis oh my!: Some of spotgirl's lovely table napkins.  Initially cloth diapering was an economical decision, but after realizing the drastic difference between the amount of garbage we put out each week once we stopped using disposables; continuing to lessen our use of disposable products is where our family is headed.  With a 1, 6, and 8 yr old, mess is just inevitable, and paper towels, paper napkins, toilet paper, etc., is in use almost constantly all day.  Hopefully I will win a set of napkins, but either way, cloth napkins will be making their way to our table in the near future. 
  3. The Cloth Diaper Whisperer: Fluff Friday 75 - 2 Smartipants CD's.  Always looking to increase our stash.
  4. Eco-Cheap Mom: cloth diapers, wipes, and accessories throughout the month of April.  SO..these are the ones currently eligible for entry. FuzziBunz Perfect size Pocket ends 4/22, Nifty Nappy PeachyKeen One Size Pocket ends 4/23, Flip One-Size Diaper system ends 4/26, Rumparooz G2 One Size Pocket Diaper ends 4/28, FuzziBunz One Size Pocket Diaper ends 4/30, Swimmis Swim Diaper by Bummis ends 4/30, Bum Essentials Diaper and Wet Bag ends 5/3, Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm ends 5/5, Pat-a-Cake Baby wet bag ends 4/24, Bummas Cloth Wipes (which I really want!!!) ends 4/27, Krazy8Cat's Wool Dryer Balls ends 4/29, Lovey's Tushi Wash ends 5/4  I told you there were a bazillion.
  5. Simple Days: 2 hand-knitted washcloths.  

I want it all!! Don't you?!?

Monday, April 19, 2010

What I've been up to..

I have been very busy in blogland lately. What? Oh..right.. Well, not actually busy blogging, but blog surfing, or blog stalking..depends on how you look at it. There are so many talented, inspiring people out there! Beyond that, they actually let you learn, absorb, breathe in just a little bit of that talent. My list of projects, (desktop folder rather) has gone from 10 to about 95 projects "to-do".


It's not that I haven't had anything to write about. Far from it. I actually have so much to write about, I'm going to write it in pictures.

Here's what I've been up to.

1. Trying to figure out this pattern...and failing miserably. I did find out later, that the pattern was I am working on the new one.

2. Baking chocolate chip cookies. I am using the word chip rather loosely here, since I didn't have actual chips, so I used Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate "luscious bittersweet chocolate shavings". Ha.

3. Baking bread - Potato buttermilk rolls to be exact....again I am using the word buttermilk rather loosely also, since we are mainly vegan. I substituted lemon juice and soy milk instead. And WOW! were they good! (even if I did use leftover mashed potatoes to make them)
4. And more bread.
5. Trying new recipes. I had a fridge full of tomatoes, and I needed to do something with them; other than throw them all out after they sat there for another month. So I went to 101 cookbooks (my favorite recipe site), and decided to make Soup. Loads of fun...super easy...and I didn't like it. So I added Morning Star Farms Italian Sausage, some Ragu, and some more spices..... TA DA! and turned it into spaghetti sauce...which I love.

6. Baking more of these. More wheat flour this time.

7. Knitting a soaker.

Since I heard somewhere that seven is a good number, I'll stop there.

I do have other projects in progress, but you can see those in the sidebar.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Beginnings

I was never able to keep a diary. Of the 15+ journals I own, not one has been consistently updated with the details of day to day life. There's a large black linen one, a brown suede one, a brown striped one, some with pictures, others with inspiring sayings; each perfect for chronicling the big events, the heartaches, the minutia, and yet none of them have more than 20 pages of writing. There's even a small pink one with teddy bears, complete with a padlock slot, featuring a few pages of childish writing. "Dear Diary, My mom is going to have a baby. The End."
My favorite journal is a faded blue. Its cover is warped and worn; the pages inside, yellowed with age, are covered with the elegant script of my grandmother. Using prose, poetry, and funny quotes, she talks about college, family, and dreams. Reading her poems, I hear a familiar voice, detect a soothing, recognizable is my own poetry, echoing from the stack of unused, uncompleted journals. Mine also tell of college, of love, and dreams. The melody is different, but the rhythm is the same. This is why I love to write...its in my blood.