Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh WowWowWow!!!

The Weekender - Contents Page...


Sit & Knit in The Weekender!


The Weekender
is a weekly publication that reaches quite a few people in the NEPA region. I am honored and flattered to have been given the opportunity to do this interview and I am ASTOUNDED that my little knitting group has taken off so quickly! I am really excited for Monday's meeting now!

And this kind of pales in comparison, but here are some more members of the veggie brigade:

the veggie brigade!

There are individual pictures on Flickr, so I will not bore you with them here. :)

Okay, gotta run! I got a lot of stuff done today, so I am happy. See you in a few days!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A few fun things...

So Comfort Week was a blast and I really enjoyed finding some of my old photos (and taking a few new ones) to put in my posts. But I really didn't accomplish too much else between blogging and doing some (but not enough) housework. So this is a quick post before I disappear for a few days because I have sewing, soaping, knitting and fabric cutting to do. And hand balms to make.

I have several exciting bits of business things to share, but most of them have to wait until later in the week. The one I can share now is the most exciting anyway, so here goes:

I got an email last week from Patricia at Oncore, a mother/daughter run consignment shop in Wilkes Barre (just a few minutes down the highway from me). Anyway, they are now accepting the wares of local artisans and wanted to know if I'd be interested in selling some items. I went down to meet them and show them some of my goods and got to do a bit of shopping!

Both ladies are so nice and the store is super cute! I also didn't get lost on my way there -- always a good sign. :) I can't wait to take some goodies in!

Anyway, here's the whole pile of awesome and inexpensive stuff I got as seen in the back of my van. I knew that certain boys would probably not let me do an indoor photo shoot, so I took advantage of the nice evening light as soon as I got home.

score!
The plaid thing under all the wonderful loot is a GORGEOUS all cotton table cloth.

table runner
This will be a perfect length runner for my kitchen table. It has the same design at the other end. There are detail shots on Flickr.

wine basket
Wine Basket! But it is going to be a Knitting Basket! I have to take some pics when I stuff it full of yarny goodness...

table cloth
Vintage embroidered tablecloth. Love, love, love. It's in REALLY good shape too. :)

jar full of roving
I stuffed the jar full of roving. I want to keep it handy and safe because...

felted carrot!
I've started needle felting!!!!!!!!! How many more exclamation points can I put before I'm instantly thirteen again?
!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr. Carrot is not done, but he is well underway and I am SO super excited about this. I mean, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Anyway. Now I have to go back a week since I forgot to post a bunch of things while I was comforting and being comforted.

John's mother brought this old cross stitch bedtime prayer thing up. She said she got it when the hubby was little but never framed it or anything. I always thought this was one of the creepier prayers for kiddos, but I love this item for its vintage appeal (and its sweet little creatures -- those details are on Flickr too) so I think it will end up in the boys' room.

vintage cross stitch

And back to Monday, Eve brought her wheel to Sit & Knit and she was kind enough to let me try it.

my first "yarn"
Um, I didn't do a very good job, in case you can't tell from the photo of the weird twisty mass of "yarn". But it did knit like yarn, so I slipped it onto a vintage clothespin and gave it a long tie at the top and now it hangs in my kitchen. Thus I will preserve my first swatch knitted from my first handspun "yarn" for all eternity. ;)

knitted

Okay, still in the past, these were the last two soaps I made:

two soaps
The one on the left with the swirly is black tea blended with oatmeal, milk and honey. The one on the right is pumpkin spice with red and yellow clays. Obviously supposed to be orange, but the red clay was too overpowering. Ah well. Now I know for next time...

And finally, I ended up at Michael's last night and got some loot for the business end of the Ambry.

goodies from the craft store

more goodies from the craft store

stamp testing
Testing, testing...

Okay. That felt like a long one. I may disappear for a week or I may not. It all depends upon how much actual work I get done in the next few days. Until whenever, enjoy your week!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Comfort Week -- Friday: Image

As per Sherrie, the host of Comfort Week:

"Friday: image: a picture that represents total comfort to you"


This whole week has been so much fun! Thanks to Sherrie for brightening up the last few days and helping me to be more aware of the comforts of my own home -- and the reasons I appreciate them. Thanks Sherrie! I had a blast. :)


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Other participants:

Sherrie, Vickie, Jane, mothergoose, Alli, Ingrid, sunmamma, Barb, Austen, Teresa, Mitten Monster, Heidi, nahiacreations, Sarah, and Andrea

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comfort Week -- Thursday: Habit

As per Sherrie, the host of Comfort Week:

"Thursday: habit: a behaviour or routine that brings you comfort"


Mr. Ambry said I HAVE to say talking on the phone. :)



I do spend quite a bit of time on the telephone. None of my friends live close enough to get together without a bit of a drive and a special day set aside, so this is how I stay connected.

In these days of cordless phones, hands free systems, and unlimited calling, it is so easy to dial up a long distance friend and chat while I do the most mundane of things. It helps to ease the pain of having left so many people behind in our various moves around the state. I am so thankful for all the people I get to talk to on a regular basis, people I otherwise would've fallen out of touch with had I been relying on my (in)ability to send letters or postcards often enough to share in those little moments of their every day lives.

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Other participants so far:

Sherrie, Vickie, Jane, mothergoose, Alli, Ingrid, sunmamma, Barb, Austen, Teresa, Mitten Monster, Heidi, nahiacreations, Sarah, and Andrea

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comfort Week -- Wednesday: Place

As per Sherrie, the host of Comfort Week:

"Wednesday: place : the place most comfortable to you"


You know I'm going to say my kitchen right?



I do EVERYTHING in my kitchen. I love to cook and bake, so obviously those things take up a lot of my time and can't be done anywhere else in the house without disastrous results.

But the kitchen is also where I do my bill paying, school studying, soap and hand balm making, drawing, some of my knitting, sewing -- let's just say almost everything.


In my dream house, my kitchen is HUGE with tons of counter space, a big farmhouse style table, some comfy upholstered chairs in one corner near a pellet stove, french doors that open onto a ground level patio with a grill and a clear path to the garden, among many other little dreamy details. The main goal is for it to truly be the heart of my home. A place where everybody can gather to talk or work or cook or eat. A place where all the activity can happen (but with plenty of space to actually allow for, you know, kitchen things.)


Anyway. That's about as comforting as it comes for me.


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Other participants so far:

Sherrie, Vickie, Jane, mothergoose, Alli, Ingrid, sunmamma, Barb, Austen, Teresa, Mitten Monster, Heidi, nahiacreations, and Sarah

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comfort Week --Tuesday: Home

As per Sherrie, the host of Comfort Week:

"Tuesday: home: the most comfortable (or comforting) thing in your home"



I'm going to have to go with my bed. I love my bed. It is a pillow top mattress on a split box which sits on the floor inside a gutted Ikea frame, so it is soft yet sturdy. It is a place where (in theory) I get to lay down at the end of the day and drift off to sleep in total warmth and comfort, with Mr. Ambry by my side. The sleep doesn't come as easily as I would like most nights, but it is good to know that there is a snuggly place where I could be sleeping peacefully.

And of course there are the mornings--

--when we are joined by a certain boy who alternately loves to jump on Mommy and Daddy's bed...


...or snuggle under the down comforter.


Comfortable and comforting. :)

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Other participants so far:

Sherrie, Vickie, Jane, mothergoose, Alli, Ingrid, sunmamma, Barb, Austen, Teresa, Mitten Monster, Heidi, nahiacreations, and Sarah

Monday, January 19, 2009

Comfort Week -- Monday: Food

As per Sherrie, the host of Comfort Week:

"Monday: food: your favourite comfort food (with recipes, if possible!)"



The most comforting food I know of, hands down, is soup. Soup is warm and nourishing, easy to make in huge quantities ahead of time and even easier to pull out of the freezer when you need it. It can be so many different things, from a chunky, hearty meal to a light snack. The possibilities are endless!


I don't use recipes when making soup because it is usually being made to use up whatever veggies are past their eating-fresh prime, but I will share the ingredients list from the batch I made a few days ago.

Broth: (simmered all day) ham hock, bay leaves, celery ends, three vegetable boullion cubes, two huge frozen tomatoes, freshly ground pepper, onion, garlic, a large quantity of V8 juice that needed to be used up, and water added as needed.



Stuff to bite: Bhutanese red rice, barley, lentils, navy beans, smoked sausage (browned in a pan first), and celery.


I simmered the broth all day last Tuesday and put it in the fridge. Wednesday we went out of town for the day. Thursday evening I started the navy beans soaking overnight. On Friday my soup cooked all day and everything was added by the afternoon. We ate some for lunch on Saturday and the rest is in the freezer. :)

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Other participants so far:

Sherrie, Vickie, Jane, mothergoose, Alli, Ingrid, sunmamma, Barb, Austen, Teresa, Mitten Monster, Heidi, nahiacreations, and Sarah

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quickie

You are going to be sooooo sick of me by the end of this week, but I had to post again today to let everybody know that Elaine got her goodies! I got an email yesterday, so I can share pictures of what she won now.





Also, Heidi asked about Buttons, so here he is to remind you what he looks like and how cold he is without the scarf I still did not finish.

"So... cold..."

And speaking of Heidi, she is having a really cool giveaway right now. If you have ever wanted to experiment with making soap, but without the dangerous chemicals, you need to buy one of her rebatching kits in her Etsy shop! I have tried a bunch of her soaps and they are amazing, so you know you will be getting soap base of an excellent quality. Love ya, Heidi!


Okay, now I am REALLY going. See you tomorrow for the first day of Comfort Week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And I thought I was boring...

I discovered how exciting my life truly is when I spent my Friday night watching Sleeper and knitting a scarf out of baker's twine for a Buttons the Elf doll.


But something fun is happening next week! Sherrie G. over at Frenchy's Finds is hosting "Comfort Week" from the 19th through the 23rd. I am definitely participating in this and encourage you to do the same. As Sherrie said,

"Here are the themes for each day:

Monday: food: your favourite comfort food (with recipes, if possible!)
Tuesday: home: the most comfortable (or comforting) thing in your home
Wednesday: place : the place most comfortable to you
Thursday: habit: a behaviour or routine that brings you comfort
Friday: image: a picture that represents total comfort to you; either an image of your own or a link to one you love"

Sounds like fun, right? All she asks is that we link to the other participants throughout the week -- you know what? She explains it better here.

So check out the links if you're interested and I'll see you Monday for "Food Day"!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Food, The Yarn and Other Things

Well, I have been doing a lot of thinking and I have come to the realization that my blog has become pretty boring. I am so busy all the time, but I never seem to be doing anything new or interesting. I think a lot of it is that general winter blah feeling, but really, when is the last time I posted anything fun?

I am thinking up a new giveaway, but that won't be ready for a little bit. In the meantime, does anybody have any suggestions? There are so many things I'd like to do, but I don't know how to go about them. For instance, I'd like to do a tutorial, but I don't do anything that other people haven't done already. I'd LOVE to have a guest blogger, but my blog isn't really "big" enough to ask somebody who isn't a friend with the same hobbies. I just feel so blah. You know what I mean?

To break up the horrible cabin fever, we finally went back to Kutztown on Wednesday to see some friends and do some shopping. Here are a bunch of pictures of the yummy food things and other things that came home with us. And my dirty kitchen floor. But thankfully it doesn't look bad in the photos...


Some snacky items of the healthy and not-so-healthy varieties...


A whole bunch of grains and baking needs.


Holy spices!!! The prices were nice, so I went a little overboard. Some of the more "exotic" items are to help me replicate a whole tea I used to get at Borders like ten years ago (!) called Cardamom Cinnamon. It was SO GOOD and now I will make my own since I cannot find it anywhere.


Rice, rice, wheat, rice, rice. See? Boring!


Yarn and needles.

The unmarked skeins in the front are more of my absolute favorite Pennsylvania yarn by Vista Farm. They only do that one yarn and it is wonderful. I am knitting that scarf I showed in the last post (and I am too lazy to link to it right now...) with that and the Berroco and I restocked. SOMEDAY I would love to do a sweater in this stuff. But that would be a very pricey sweater.

The teeny tiny Frog Tree is so I can experiment further with knitting teeny tiny things. I'm really obsessed with owning a Blythe doll and have been dropping some nice subtle hints like, "So, are you going to buy me a Blythe doll for my birthday?" You know, stuff everybody appreciates. I am so not a doll person, but those Blythes are so creepy and cool and would be fun to make little clothes for. Plus I could SELL some of the clothing I make on Etsy. It would be so very nice to have a doll of my own to model for me and all that nice stuff ARE YOU READING THIS MR. AMBRY?!

Anyway. The Cascade and the Madil were on the sale table and I liked them, so they came home with me too.


I ordered these from the JoAnn website a little while back because I had some nice coupons. They will be Noah's baby blanket (finally). This yarn is so soft!!! I love the feel of organic cotton -- soft yet sturdy. I can't wait to see this when it's done.


Yeah, more hand balm. I finally made an unscented one which I am slathering on the boys' cheeks several times a day now. They are both teething and their cheeks get so red and raw from all that burny teething drool. Plus they get windburned really quickly if they're out, so it has been a double whammy. I am seeing some results already after just a few days of using this. What a lifesaver!

Oh yeah, the other one is Carrot Cake. It was my free sample scent in my recent order from Bramble Berry. I LOVE it. It smells just like a delicious carroty baked treat with (what my nose is reading as) a really powerful fresh nutty smell and it is absolutely wonderful!


And finally, more soup. Or the beginning thereof. There's a big smoked ham hock hiding under the veggies and the broth is so nice. I am adding navy beans and smoked sausage tomorrow and I haven't decided between tiny potato chunks or rivels (wee little dumplings in case that is a regional word -- and yeah, we're talking seriously tiny dumplings).

Alright, that's enough for one night. If anybody has any ideas for me on how I can spice things up around here, PLEASE let me know. I am boring myself to tears!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pictures

I was going to tell a fun story from the other day, but I just can't seem to shake this four day crabby mood. So here are some pictures until I am less grouchy. :)

My beautiful Berroco Ultra Alpaca from yarnygirl. I am knitting it with this yarn and making myself a scarf. I'm very happy with it so far. They really look great together.


Rebatched the bad batch and now it seems to be fine (no zappy spots) but it is going to take forever to harden because I added way too much liquid while it was cooking. Oops. Still blueberry scented. I tried to leave it kind of piece-y looking, like visible grated pieces, but because I had too much liquid, most of the pieces blended together anyway. I just couldn't win with this one!


Mmm, soup from the summer. I had put it in jars and stuck them in the freezer for blah winter days. And here they are, so it is time for soup. :)


One batch, two coconut scents. On the left is Thai Coconut, on the right is Coconut Verbena & Lime (both from Southern Soapers). They are awesome! This was a CP batch, so I have to wait a while to try them, but they smell fabulous. Thai Coconut is my fave and the one I will be ordering again.


Here is the beginning of that scarf. It is much longer and totally different now but I haven't gotten any recent photos.

Well, that's all I have. Until another (less crabby) day!