Monday, December 25, 2006

Peace and Joy

From Our Family To Yours!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Fun

First of all I have to show you the goodies Beth
sent me for trying to guess the purpose of a mystery object in her shop. 3 skeins of a beautiful red-orange Koigu KPM, and 1 of a soft yellow. There were 2 packets of gourmet hot chocolate, but one mysteriously disappeared before I could photograph it. MMM. And a seriously cute tin of apple mints. I wasn't expecting such a generous package. Thank you so much Beth!

Secondly. Have I mentioned I'm a cookie maniac? Not so much the eating of, but the making of. These are chocolate, hazelnut, ginger biscotti with white chocolate drizzle. Come over and have a cuppa with me, and I'll share.

I finally got our wreath made. I used the trimmings from our tree that have been sitting in a bucket of water for a week, and loads of nandina berries.

Finally, I've been working on another Fibonacci afghan with the acrylic. Instead of repeating the pattern, I'm doing an in and out thing. In case you aren't familiar with the sequence, it's just using numbers that are the sums of the previous 2 numbers:

0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13. That's the series I used on the first one.

On this one instead of going back to 1 after 13, I just used 1-5. When I got to the color using 5 rows, instead of going back to 1, I went in reverse:


Also, instead of repeating the colors regularly, I go through the sequence above, and then change the order of the colors. It's the only way I could do this and not run out of colors too quickly. I don't know if this makes sense, but I'm running after little boys and trying to clean my kitchen, etc. Believe it or not, I mixed up MORE cookie dough today. It's the ginger cookie recipe I mentioned in an earlier post. I think we'll make ginger bread men and have some friends over tomorrow to decorate them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cookies and Stripes

I'm into cookie mode. I made about 6 dozen sugar cookies last night. This is how my kitchen looked at about 11 pm:

Here's a closer view of some of my favorites:

As for yarn related content: I've been trying to make my piles of crappy acrylic into something useful, if not beautiful. Several of the large skeins of it I had, were given to me by well meaning people. There was no real way to put these colors together harmoniously. I decided to use the Fibonacci sequence for the stripes and see if the natural order of those might bring the colors together somehow. Here's how far I've gotten:

I'll wait a moment while your eyes recover.




Better yet?

I would have it finished by now, except I ran out of the really radical 80's teal. Not really ran out, I guess, but I don't think there is enough left to make 8 rows. I will not compromise on this pattern, so I've gone in search of teal acrylic yarn. And you know what? I can't find the stuff anywhere. I've been to 2 stores (big box type) and NONE. This stuff used to be everywhere. Once again, I hate buying the yarn I'm actually trying to bust. Here's the innocent little ball mocking me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ginger Cookies & A KAL

Every year at about this time, I go crazy making cookies. On my list are sugar cookies, butter balls (aka cocoons), biscotti, and a ginger cookie. Usually the gingers are disappointing. Either the flavor or the texture (or both) are off. But I'm determined. I've been trying various recipes for years and I think I've finally found a ginger cookie recipe I like. I didn't ice them with the juniper glaze, but the cookies themselves are light and crisp. The dough is easy to roll out after it's been chilled, then sits for a couple of minutes on the counter. The only thing I would change is I'd add more spice next time. Also, I'm rolling them out pretty thin, so I bake them for 9 or 10 minutes.

I've joined a knitalong with Susan , Amanda, and several other knitters. It's for the Enid Cardigan in the winter 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. I'd display the really cute button, but, I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to do that. I know it's something easy, but, as you can see on my sidebar, there are NO buttons. If anyone would like to give me directions, I'm a willing pupil. Shoot, I'll display your button! Anyway, I've never done a KAL and I'm really excited. I should be starting on it around the first of the year.

(EDIT) As you can see, there are now buttons on my sidebar. Many thanks to Kate (A Strikke) who has a great tutorial for just this kind of thing on her blog, and to Beth (3 Sheeps) who guided me to her.

Other than that, I've just been wrapping up the semester and doing Christmas stuff. Tomorrow, I give my final exam for Art Appreciation, and receive my Design portfolios. Then it's grade, grade, grade, turn in grades, and I'm free! Free to wrap presents, send out Christmas cards, make cookies, decorate....Is there anything I'm leaving out? I'm sure there is.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Super Wonderful Day

I've been having a really great day. Why? Well, yesterday was the last day of regular classes. My students and I are all grateful for that. I got an early start this morning and went into the office to grade papers and finish up some leftover business. I was ready for a break around 11:30 and DH called to ask me to lunch.

We went downtown to the healthfood store where they have just started serving lunch. All they have right now is organic salads, but it was great. Just what I needed. After we were done eating, we shopped a little and here's what I bought:

They had these sesame sticks on the salad bar and they were so yummy, I had to buy some. The candied ginger is for some Christmas biscotti I'm going to make next week for gifting. And the other 3 bags are my sachet popurri makings. One bag contains rose petals, one contains lavender, and the other is flax seed. The girl at the store suggested that for filler. What a great idea. I hadn't thought of filler. But it's smooth and small and gives the bags a little weight, not to mention, it makes the smell good stuff go farther. I'm thinking these would make good teachers' presents. Here's a picture of 2 of the filled bags. I have 3 more to fill, but the liners aren't sewn up yet.

I couldn't show you the bar of organic dark chocolate with candied ginger in it, cuz DH & I ate it while we browsed the used book store across the street. There's nothing like a good salad and a bar of chocolate to make your afternoon a breeze.

When I got home, one of my colleagues sent me this in an email. It's an animated drawing of a female figure. It's really cool. Check it out.

Another good thing. I won some fantastic Koigu from Beth during her celebration of the opening of her spinning store. She sent me a message today that she's ready to ship. I'm super excited about it and very grateful.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm very lucky and quite spoiled.

Friday, December 01, 2006


2 hour drive in the dark in the pouring rain.

Medical emergency in my class. Had to cancel test.

End of the semester madness (both mine and my students).

Plagiarizer denying the obvious. (And I mean OBVIOUS).

Can I cuss yet?