All the way home I’ll be warm

;) Let it snow…

Please – snow would be nice.

My mother says I have to post something new because she is tired of looking at chicken lungs, which reminds me – I haven’t blogged in 4 months! WTH?

No deep bloggy updating today though, just a pic of my favorite part of our holiday so far. My youngest daughter spinning. Santa brought both of them a pound(!) of fiber and a Schacht drop spindle.

She says she’ll make enough for me to crochet or knit something for her. I won’t hold my breath :)

Breathe deep and enjoy the season my little chickadees! See you in the new year.

Toots

Double rainbow all the way across the sky!

;) – OMG! OMG! OMG!

It started here.

Then the kids heard this.

Saebra decided she wanted a Double Rainbow Birthday. So, she got one.

We spent a week making a batch of ice cream each night, coloring it in sequence, and freezing it a spring-form pan. The whole thing was set on a crushed Oreo base.

Then we made rainbow cupcakes. A double cake recipe split into 6 portions, each colored and then spooned into cupcake papers in sequence.

The kids had a basket full of rainbow balloons to play with, faux tie-dying with markers and balsa wood gliders to toss into the sky.

She got lots of great gifts but my favorite is the dress that my sister made. She used a simple tank top and added a skirt, but what a skirt! Its made from this awesome rainbow fabric that she’s had in her stash for 15 years – I’ll try and get a pic of the girl wearing it :)

What did we get? One Happy Kid!

Happy 8th birthday baby-girl :)

Toots

You go with your two feet bare

;) – Drawn to the fragile legs you walk on

So, I punctured my foot on Friday. Stepped on a garden rake, went almost all the way through my foot, ball of my foot, between the big toe and next. No major damage but major enough pain. I’m pretty much stuck in bed, I can’t quite walk on it yet, though I can drive short distances, and if the foot is below heart level for more than 10 minutes she swells like a puffer fish and throbs like you can’t believe.

2 mugs detail

Small things make me happy, like these awsome mugs that my SiL Jamie made for our anniversary.

2 mugs

They fit perfect in my hand. I love them.

Toots

Drawing lines above my head

;) – But the fan keeps spinning over me

Life has been SO busy here the last few months, well its been busy for my hands. I have not been without a hook or needles in my hands in weeks, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it anytime soon – not that I’m complaining.

potholder edges

I have a series of crochet workshops at WEBS this summer, plus a year long blanket class, my summer run of Crochet 1 and a 6 week tutoring session, and all the samples needed to be done by early May, to be put on display in the store, photographed for the website, and available so potential students could see what they’d be making. Then it was time to start on the samples for Fall classes!

potholder in 2 sizes

Somewhere in there my kids finished up school, I attended 2 baby showers – with gifts that HAD to be handmade, my sister’s 30th birthday party with her handmade gift, my 13th anniversary slipped by, I participated in a hotpad/potholder swap ( I needed 5 – I made 12), weekly trips to the farmers market started, we got to meet the 2 chickens that will come home with us sometime this month, jam making, pickle making and I was asked to take over the Friday afternoon drop-ins at WEBS

decorative discs

Just to see how high I could pile it, I wrote 2 patterns. This one from last week and one more. The potholders that I did up for that swap were my own creation, based on a inspiration pic I’ve had for a couple years, and now you can make your own. The pattern is up in my Etsy shop – have at it ;)

Toots

The smile on your face I live only to see

;) – Lay here and watch the trees sway

How to have my Tuesday in 7 simple steps.

1:Wrangle with your insurance company and that of the other party involved over the fault of the rear-ending that you experienced 5 months ago and finally get them to come to the conclusion that it WAS NOT your fault and that you can now get your car fixed.

2:Drop your car off at the body shop which also has a rental place and drive off in a spiffy PT Cruiser.

3: Get a job teaching at WEBS so you meet awesome people who will bring you fresh Hadley Grass from their garden for NO reason, out of the blue, while you are happiily crocheting away at Drop-in.  Thank you Joyce!! ;)

marinatin' aspargus

4: When you get home from work with the kids marinate the asparagus with some chives and oregano from your garden and a bit of the real balsamic vinegar that your sister brought snuck back from Italy almost 2 years ago that you totally hoard.

5: Fire up the grill and get it ready for some steaks and the super yummy asparagus.

a broken door

6: Counsel, comfort and bandage your almost 7 year-old after she shatters the glass on your garage side door and scares the SH!T out of herself, her sister and you. (Breathe a sigh of relief when you clean up the Van Gogh worthy amounts of blood from the side of her face and ear and you only find superficial cuts. *sigh*)

sidewalk of glass

7: Clean it all up and be ready to sit down to a delicious meal just as the hubby pulls in.

grilled cow and hadley grass

You could probably get away with steps 4, 5 and 7, or you could make up your own, but that would be simple and easy. The best things in life are more enjoyable if you toss in some drama, and a full belly.

a belly so full 

SO full.

and no, that is not some secret allusion to me being pregnant, I’m just super full of asparagus.

Toots

Hold your breath, make a wish

Count to three

canning-fixins

The kids have been watching this movie like crazycakes the past month, not that I mind, I would rather spend hours with Gene Wilder than 10 minutes with Hannah Montana.

jars-of-jam-on-the-boil

I bring up Willy Wonka because the name came up twice in my life this week.

First: We made jam on Sunday. I had gone to the Twist Fair on Saturday with Melissa, Kristen and her amazingly well behaved (you put me to shame) daughter and Rue and we had a lovely time, and a lovely lunch at which I mentioned wanting to go home and make violet jam, I have mentioned this in past years. Melissa loved the idea and demanded the “receipt!” Oh the calm repose and patience that woman has ;) Then I went back to Twist with Annie and had a second loverly time. I ended up with not a lot of loot but good loot. I bought some super cute hair clips from Tina, got a beautiful necklace from Malea – I’ll shows you later, soap and lotion from Bunny Butt and I ran into all sorts of people I know and love. Now, if  I could just get off my ass a little more and make some stuff I could maybe vend at one.

jar-of-violet-jam

Oh the Willy Wonka thing, right, its because Violet Jam is an insane color and Saebra commented that it looked like a candy that Willy would make.

open-jar-of-violet-jam

Second: My friend Matt picked cahsews this week, he’s in El Salvador with the Peace Corps for the next 2 years. He and his host brother went out to pick cashews and he’d never realized they came attached to fruits. He said,  “…looks like something from Willy Wonka’s health food store.” Unfortunatly they don’t taste so good. And for those of you that followed his link, please ignore the mustache. Somewhere under there is the cutest boy in the world, I swear.

dollop-of-violet-jam1

So what do you do with electric purple jam? you eat it of course! and it is delicious. Melissa says it tastes like spring and she is so totally right.

violet-breakfast

If you’d like the recipe, here you go:

Violet Jam – referred to by my husband as his brothers as violent jam

Makes  12, 4oz jars

3 C violet blossoms                                5 C sugar

Violet Jam – referred to by my husband as his brothers as violent jam
Makes 70oz (my notes say 12, 4oz jars, his says 70 oz, hmmm)
3 C violet blossoms                                5 C sugar
3 C water                                              2 – 1.75oz packets of powdered pectin
2 tsp lime juice
Clean blossoms and toss in blender with 1 1/2 C water and 1 C sugar blend till there are no visible blossoms. Add remaining sugar and lime juice and pulse till mixed. In a medium saucepan over med heat bring remaining water and pectin to a boil and let boil for one minute. Remove pan from heat and pour violet mixture in to pectin, stir to fully incorporate and pour into prepared jars.
Refrigerate and use once cool and set. Will keep in fridge for 4-6 weeks. May be stored in the freezer indefinitely.

3 C water                                        2 – 1.75oz packets of powdered pectin

2 tsp lime juice

Clean blossoms and toss in blender with 1 1/2 C water and 1 C sugar blend till there are no visible blossoms. Add remaining sugar and lime juice and pulse till mixed. In a medium saucepan over med heat bring remaining water and pectin to a boil and let boil for one minute. Remove pan from heat and pour violet mixture in to pectin, stir to fully incorporate and pour into prepared jars.
Refrigerate and use once cool and set. Will keep in fridge for 4-6 weeks. May be stored in the freezer indefinitely.
Just be careful if you do a waterbath for longer storage. Sometimes there are casualties.
broken-jar-of-violet-jam
Toots

How can I hold the part of me that only you can carry

;) - I will not take these things for granted

The girls got new bikes last week from their Uncle Kevin and Auntie Jamie. Today we put their old bikes out by the road so some other lucky little kid could have a new bike. Saebra has a very hard time letting go.

saebra-missing-her-old-bike-1

She’s alright. We talked about how special she felt when she got her new bike and how special the child that gets her old bike is going to feel. Then she got to go get ice cream, its all good.

Our neighbor dropped by this morning and asked if we liked fish. Um, yes. Her nephew had gone fishing on Friday and bagged a bunch of trout, she wasn’t really interested in it but would we like some. Um, yes.

2-river-trout

river-trout-scales-and-herbs-1

And oh was it good! Saeb ate half a fish all be herself. Marinated all day in olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, hot pepper flakes, terragon, dill and ginger, wrapped in a few bacon slices, wrapped up in foil and grilled to perfection. I’d show you whats left but skin and bones is just not attractive.

potholder-edges

Today I also finished my 12 potholders. Here is my prototype and the one that Melissa picked out, its her fault I’m doing this swap, she told me about it. oh, shiny pretty swap…

my-prototype-and-melissas-potholder

The swap is only for 5 but I have 6 other people to whom I promised handmade goodies so I figured that if I was going to dive into potholder mayhem I might as well go whole hog. The pattern is my own based on something I saw on Ravelry that had no available pattern. Maybe I’ll write it up. Would you want me to?

This is what I started with

potholder-yarn-and-prototype

This is what I finished with – minus Malea‘s, she got hers yesterday :)

dark-green-edge-potholders-frontapple-green-edge-potholders-frontpale-green-edge-potholders-front

dark-green-edge-potholders-backapple-green-edge-potholders-backpale-green-edge-potholders-back

Tomorrow I’ll go back to finishing a tank and neckwarmer that are promised to other folks and contemplating some pattern ideas rattling around in my noggin.

Oh and some serious thank-yous to Melissa, Grill-Master Gene and all the ladies at the chocolate party yesterday. I had a grand time, my ribs still hurt. 

Toots

five, six, nine, and ten.

;) - you know who you are.

Saturday was a great day and miserable, grey, rainy days usually just aren’t. We played Yahtzee, Saebra won a family game for the first time ever! we colored Easter eggs. Multiple color dips make the greatest eggs!

easter-egg-galaxy-2easter-egg-galaxy-1easter-egg-lightning-storm

We also made Easter cards for the family. We made our own paper shaped into little rounds with wildflower seeds embedded in the fiber so the paper we made can just be torn up and planted. Pretty cool, huh!

bottle-of-paper-pulpwildflower-seedspulp-and-seeds-on-a-screen

easter-cards-to-grow

Yesterday we got to visit most of the family, well the girls and Pat did. I spent my afternoon with a sleepy Easter Bunny :)

julia-sleepy-bunny

Toots

Think about the days of me and you

;) - Then remembering will have to do

(thanks for the music today Ma. All I need is another excuse to cry in the middle of the day)

I finished up a big project today.

25-squares-of-summer

Perty idn’t she. This is the sample blanket for the crochet block of the month class I’m teaching from July – June of next year at Webs. Once I really sat down to work on it things moved along pretty quickly.

summer-squares-on-the-side1

There are detail shots of the squares on my flickr page.

Its pizza night and I have a basket full of laundry to fold and I still have to go pick the Hubby up from work. Have a great weekend, chickadees!

Toots

UPDATE! 11/4/12

Since so many people contact me about this blanket, I thought I’d update this post with the details.

I used Jan Eatons 200 crochet  blocks

I made 13 of the Traditional Granny blocks #18
and one each of the following squares:
#20 Colorful Bobbles
#22 St. Petersburg
#30 Shell lace
#38 Dahlia
#39 Gavin’s Stripes
#71 Star Flower
#74 Seville
#76 Granny Stripes
#95 Kingcup
#145 Chocolate Box
#161 Daisy Chain
#189 Willow

Using Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky:

2 skeins Orange, 2 skeins Red, 3 skeins Royal, 3 skeins Gold, 3 skeins Fuschia, and 5 skeins of Lime. The blocks were all joined together as I added the last round on the granny blocks.