Thursday, October 31, 2013


 I got to be home on call all last evening so we got our pumpkin ready for today!  Dave cut it open and scraped it all out and I carved the design.  We used one of those carving kits with the little serrated saws and tracing patterns.  We roasted the seeds too and this year I boiled them for 10 minutes before roasting them but I didn't think it made that much difference.  I'd read they were supposed to be crunchier that way.  Every time I roast pumpkin seeds, I get so excited because they smell so good, but they are always kind of a disappointment.  I like the flavor of them but they are so fibery when you chew them up.  Maybe I just like the idea of them and I do it because it reminds me of my mom roasting them.

Tomorrow is November 1st and also NaKniSweMo which stands for National Knit A Sweater In A Month.  I think I am going to go for it!  I have my yarn all lined up--10 skeins of Patons Classic Wool that I already had in my stash.  I've got my needles and pattern at the ready and today I'm going to wind the first ball and do a little swatching.  The biggest challenge will be to keep at this sweater and not be distracted starting other small things along the way.  And in a way it kind of kills me because Christmas is next month and I've got a few projects mentally lined up for that.  So much yarn, so little time!
I keep forgetting to post this picture.  When Lisa and Luke came to stay for the Cancer Garage Sale, they brought me this Hobbit cupcake!  It was decorated with a ring of The One Ring.  I just loved it and now the ring sits on my kitchen window sill.  I'd never been a Tolkien fan but I really enjoyed the LOTR trilogy and was actually inspired to read the books as well as The Hobbit.  It is a rare thing for me to read.  I love to read but I'd rather knit and watch a fabulous Masterpiece Theater production of a literary classic.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of The Hobbit last December and can't wait for the second film.  Dave is so excited to take me, NOT.  He is a good sport though!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Crafting frenzy!

 My brother had his Navy drill this weekend so he and his wife and two daughters and two beagles came to stay with us.  We had a very productive Crafty Fun Time.  We made 8 batches of bath bombs for Christmas gifts and Halloween teacher gifts.

 We used my jack-o-lantern mold for some large spiced apple shaped bombs.  This was the first time they'd made these and they did a great job.  I tested out a jack-o-lantern bomb in my bath last night!

These were some Christmas ornaments that took about 3 minutes to make.  I'd bought these ornaments on sale at Michael's thinking they were plastic but they were in fact glass.  We had a harrowing moment when Annika dropped one on the carpet and it bounced onto the linoleum but didn't break.  I'd picked this greenery off the evergreen tree in our yard a few weeks ago and let it dry on the counter.  We just pulled the caps off the ornaments, snipped some greenery and stuck it in the ornaments and then put in some small red jingle bells and then put the tops back on.  We tied some ribbons through the loops for a hanger and we were done.  And yes that is my trusty old yellow Formica table.  It used to be my kitchen/dining table but now it is a full time craft table and lives downstairs in the family room.

We also made a slew of these Santa ornaments out of dried milkweed pods I'd picked last year around this time.  We painted them with acrylic paint and put the beards and fur trim on with Snow-tex paint.  These were such a hit that we decided to go out and pick more milkweed pods.

We drove out to Battle Creek Park to forage for natural craft components.  Battle Creek is not far from here and very close to our old apartment.  It is a lovely wooded area with paved walking trails and cross country ski trails in the winter.  We've seen deer and wild turkeys there and they have bow hunting in the fall.  The trail takes about 45 minutes to walk and is a favorite with dog lovers.
We found all kinds of good stuff:  acorns, pine cones, fallen birch trees for birch bark, big strips of regular tree bark, spongy moss and of course more milkweed pods.
We had beautiful weather for the walk and in places you'd swear you were in Norway or Finland.  We've already decided that we are going to do this every year.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


 This is my week where I only work one shift and I've gotten a lot done on my days off which always makes me happy.  Dave's parents called on Monday to say they had a good sackful of tomatoes that were ripe.  Now that it has cooled down, the ripening really has slowed down.  We went and picked them and I processed them the next day.
 I got 8 1/2 pints of tomato sauce out of them and it turned out really well.  We thought my brother was coming this weekend for Navy drill but it won't be until the end of the month.  I was a bit disappointed but now a bit relieved because tomorrow I don't have to clean and can spend the rest of my days off knitting and working on other projects.
 Speaking of which, I baked the first batch of these yesterday and packed them all up this morning.  I sent 16 with Dave to school for the faculty, I will take a container to my one shift tonight, and these are little gifts for Dave's parents and our neighbors.  I have to say I was quite pleased with how they turned out all packaged up.
I was especially excited to use my color coordinated twine.  I got this a while back at Joann's with a coupon.  I'm off to the couch to knit for a while and entertain Lopi who is quite antsy this morning for some reason.  I am loving this cold, rainy weather.  Blankie weather!