Tuesday, December 31, 2019

GOODBYE/HELLO

Image result for goodbye hello

Seldom do I do an end of year post.  So many bloggers do this and I feel like I would just be repeating some of the same things they say and do.  But this last year was a doozy for me and my family.  We had fun times, sad times, adventurous times, learning times and lots of family times.

Some of the highlights from my year were:

Went to The Fiesta Bowl for the first time in 40 years.

Learned how to cook in an air fryer. (My favorite kitchen appliance now)

Loss my brother to a massive stroke

Got reacquainted with some old friends and picked up where we left off

Made several trips to Las Vegas for fun and family

Managed to use up quite a bit of stash yarn 

Made a trip to Texas to wish my military son good luck in the middle east. (He ended up not being able to go because of shoulder surgery)

Met our first great grandchild

Learned that baby outfits are so much fun to make and fast too

Loss the owner of our local yarn store very unexpectedly

Bought a new washing machine (not a planned expenditure)

Bought a new car (also not really planned)

Relearned how to knit magic loop two at a time toe up socks

Loss my husband's best friend to complications from heart surgery

Learned how to clip my dogs nails (that will save me quite a bit of $)

Enjoyed a week with our Texas Grand Daughter at Christmas 

There were lots of family gatherings this year, where we played games, watched movies, went bowling, laughed, cried and drew closer as a family.

Our house is very quiet with all our company gone.  Tonight, hubby and I will go to Mass and then come home and eat Tamales (for luck) and enjoy a movie or two while keeping the dogs from freaking out from fireworks.  I doubt we will make it to midnight, but that is ok.  We are old.

I no longer make any resolutions for a new year.  I figure I just want to be a better person each and everyday.  Someday, I will master that.  Thank you all for following my blog this past year.  I know it is not as professional as others' blogs.  But it makes me happy and gives me a place to express myself in my own way.

Until Next Time..................happy crafting and happy new year.



Sunday, December 29, 2019

HALF WAY THROUGH. WEEK 26



Can you believe we have already done 26 weeks of this year's "YOP"?  That is half way through the year.  It seems to have flown by.  With this past week being Christmas, not too much knitting got done at my house.  Here is the only item that saw any love this week.



Hubby's socks got a little bit of love.  I was only able to add a few rows this past week.  There will be more time to work on them this coming week, once everyone leaves and goes to their respective homes.

Last Sunday morning I picked up our Texas Grand Daughter from the airport.  There is such a difference in her maturity since the last time I saw her in May.  Our Local Grand Daughter stayed with us Sunday and Monday so she could have some time with her cousin.  It sure is different having teen age girls in the house.  (I raised boys until my step daughter came to us at the age of 15)  There were high pitched giggles all the time.  It filled my heart with so much joy.

Tuesday, we went to Christmas Eve Mass and the Texas Grand spent the night at the local Grands house.  

Wednesday was Christmas and we spent the day at our son's home and had such a great time.  There was a total of 11 of us there for White Elephant gift exchange and dinner.  We had so much fun.  Everyone pitched in with food.  There was a lot of laughter and made the day so special being with family.  The Local Grand and the Texas Grand came back to our house for another sleep over that evening.

Thursday I had planned on taking the girls to see Zoo Lights but mother nature had other ideas.  It started raining Tuesday afternoon and did not stop until Friday evening!  Instead we went bowling.  (The young people bowled and the grandparents watched and had a beer) We had another sleepover that night too. 

Friday I wanted to take the girls to the mountains to play in the snow but the roads were too treacherous for me to navigate and I am glad we did not go.  There were rock slides and road closures everywhere we had planned to go.  Hubby's sister arrived on Friday afternoon and will be here until Monday. We had a nice family dinner Friday night along with lots of game playing.  That was the first night the girls did not have a sleep over at either house.

Saturday was a bit of a lazy day.  My sister in law left in the morning to go to a Fiesta Bowl tail gate party and then on to the game.  Texas Grand, hubby and I went to Mass and then to an Irish pub for dinner.  

Today, we are all going over to our best friends home for our annual end of year get together.  Normally it is at my house but since our bff's remodeled their kitchen, this year, we thought it would be fun to show it off.  We will be celebrating 2 birthdays at "the gathering" also.  There will be 19 of us congregating for this gathering.  This will be the 10th year for this end of year party.

Tomorrow, we send out Texas Grand back to her parents.  It is also her birthday.  Just imagine, she came to us at 13 years old and we send her home at 14 years old.  She has been so much fun to have!  Our house is going to be very quiet!  It has been so nice to have all the noise and hub bub for the past week.  Now I will be back to my audio books and knitting while hubby watches all the bowl games and professional football.

Let me leave you with a few photos highlighting the past week.



Found this ornament on my tree Christmas Day.  Seems our Daughter had placed it there a week ago.  Flamingos are another running joke in our family.  BTW, my tree is blue and white.  How did I miss seeing this for a week?



Family bowling night.  So much fun.



One of the most unique gifts I received this year.



After a year of being just leaves, my white orchid has little buds on it!



Hubby brought me lovely lilies on Friday.  I had sent him to the store for a few items and he rewards me with flowers.



My daughter sent me flowers in memory of my mom who passed away 2 years ago on the 26th.  My eyes might have leaked a little when I received these.

I want to wish all of you a wonderful 2020.  

Until Next Time......................................Happy Crafting!!!!



Sunday, December 22, 2019

WEEK 25


Hello readers.  Is the air around your house sparked with excitement for the upcoming holidays?  Mine sure is.  We are getting ready to head to the airport to pick up our Grand Daughter from Texas.  Our local Grand Daughter spent the night last night so she could go with us to greet her cousin.  Family is very important to us.

How about we take a look at what kind of fiber arts went on this week.



I finished the baby ensemble on Thursday.  What a joy it was to make this.


I found these sweet little buttons to add a bit of a girly touch to the sweater.  They are so vintage looking.  Love, love, love vintage items for baby clothing.


I have not made pom poms in quite a while and after making this one, it will be a while again before I make another one.  I had bits of fiber everywhere!

I bet you think I picked up my sweater to get it closer to the finish line.  Nope.  I cast on another pair of TAAT toe up socks.


I am doing the Scatterby Sock pattern for these.  It has been in my "to do" patterns for a few years.  Now that I am doing TAAT toe up, again, I figured I would give it a go.  The sock on the right has a few boo-boos in it but it will be inside a shoe so it will not show.  The pattern is not hard but you do need to pay a bit of attention as you do it. (read: do not drink wine while knitting this pattern)  I love the way if breaks up the short color repeats.  This should prevent any further pooling, like there is on the toe.  Hubby was super happy to hear these socks are for him.  Wow, I have never seen a man get excited about socks like he does.

We got all our Christmas shopping completed by Tuesday and everything wrapped and tagged on Friday.  I have never placed packages under our tree before but with the girls being here for some of the week, I decided to try it.  My dogs have been super good about leaving everything alone.  Hooray!

I managed to sneak in some time to get a haircut.  Hubby did too.  That always improves our moods.

I had a follow-up appointment with my eye Dr this past week.  No retinal damage and my pressure was back to normal.  PTL!  Love getting good news like that this time of year.

Our house is clean, laundry is 100% done and we are ready to relax and enjoy all the friends and family we will be seeing over the next 10 days.   

I hope you all have a very blessed Christmas (if you celebrate).  Other wise, have a wonderful week.

Until Next Time..................Happy Crafting!!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

WEEK 24 UPDATE

 

Sunday again?  The weeks are just zooming along.  This time next week I will be at the airport picking up one of my grands from Texas.  She is coming to spend Christmas with us.  Her parents have to work during the Christmas holidays (The US Navy does not take off for holidays) and she asked if she could come to be with us for that time period.  How sweet is that?

Today, it is sunny outside with a high expected to be around 63F.  I will be spending a bit of time outside knitting in the wonderful sunshine.  This is my favorite time of year here in the desert.

This past week saw me getting quite a few things done for the upcoming weeks.  Once the Grand comes, as well as all the other guests, who will be coming and going, I want to be able to just enjoy the time with family and friends.

When I left you last week, I showed you the makings for the Chex Party Mix (nuts and bolts).  We went to our friend's home and were able to cut the baking time from 8 hours down to 2.5 hours!   What a difference 3 ovens make.  It made 18 gallons of mix and we have already given out 4 gallons of it.  Not to mention the 1 gallon we have sitting in our kitchen for our eating pleasure.

As for knitting/crocheting.  I have a finish.


The socks for my sister in law are done and were mailed yesterday.  I very much enjoyed doing the two at a time socks from the toe up.  After talking to several other knitters, I found out their tension was indeed, looser on magic loop vs DPN's.  Therefore, I need to use a size US 1 (2.25mm) needle for magic loop and US 1.5 (2.5mm) for DPN's.  You may not think it a huge difference in the needle size but it does make a HUGE difference in the gauge.

I was asked to make another baby sweater.  This one will be for another little girl due to arrive in March 2020.  Once again, I told the soon to be Grandma, "You buy the yarn and I will buy the buttons and do the knitting".  She complied willingly.  


Yes, this is the Wee Sherlock pattern again.  It is so versatile for either male or female.  This is the first time I have ever worked with Red Heart Soft Baby Steps.  It is 100% acrylic and SO SOFT!  I love the sheen it has also.    I started this on Thursday evening and it is just flying off the needles.  I am making the 6-12 month size this time.  After the sweater is completed, I will be making a matching hat also.  I so love making baby items.

While knitting I have been listening to audio books.  It is so nice to listen to books.  It reminds me of when I was young and my parents would read to me each day.  It is so soothing and what a great way to multi-task.

Hubby surprised me this week.  He offered to do some of the grocery shopping and when he came home these were in his hands.


My favorite color of roses, yellow.  After 44 years he still remembers these are my favorite.  They are fully opened this morning.  I just wish roses lasted longer than a few days.

Speaking of my hubby,


What a good sport he is.  We were in a store and I saw this jacket.  I asked him to try it on and got a photo.  I sent it to our kids so they could have a good laugh.  Wild Christmas outfits have been a running joke in our family for many years.  We got to be the first with the photo this year.  We could hear the eye rolls from all over the US.  LOL

We have been working on some decluttering.  Everyone of our Christmas boxes is being gone through and tomorrow Big Brothers/Big Sisters will be coming by to collect items we are donating.  So far we have 6 storage boxes ready to leave the house.  I also have gone through a couple of closets and there are clothes leaving our home too.  It feels so good to watch all this 'stuff' leaving our home.  

Today, I will be working on the baby sweater, hoping to complete the body and start on the sleeves.  There will be more decluttering today as well more audio books while the hubby watches football (US style).  I hope you all have a wonderful day and find something to smile about.

Until Next Time.....................Happy Crafting!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Muddling Through

Image result for muddling through

The photo above kind of describes how I feel today.  It is the middle of the week and there is so much I had wanted to accomplish by today and didn't.  My mind now is on overload wanting to get all of it done NOW.  By the end of the week I will be all smoothed out and relaxed.  I have no idea why I always work this way.  You would think after 66 years I would be able to accept this about me.  I am still a work in progress LOL.


On Monday, we had a 20 minute hail/rain storm.  I love storms as long as it does not cause injury to anyone.  The above is a video from my bedroom window looking into our backyard.  Once again, it flooded during this downpour.  The hail is not a common occurrence for us so it was a lot of fun to watch it accumulate.


Last night, hubby and I had our first glass of eggnog.  It was so yummy.  We did not have any last year, which made me very sad.  It does not seem like the holidays without a bit of eggnog.  Years ago, I made eggnog from scratch.  It was such an ordeal but tasted so much better than what you can get at the store.  Maybe someday I will make it from scratch again.  Maybe.

The sock is still not finished.  I have gotten the heels completed and just need to add a couple of inches on it and then do the cuff.  I do not know why, but I am not excited about working on them.  They could be finished in just an evening if I would just pick them up and work on them.  

Hubby and I did our grocery shopping yesterday and today I have cleaned the kitchen and am getting ready to do some laundry and go through the boxes of Christmas things we have not used in several years.  Once they have been gone through, we will be donated them to charity as I do not need them taking up real estate in my storage shed anymore.

Today, I leave you with a little tidbit I received from one of our church friends.



Until next time..............................happy crafting!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

WEEK 23 OF YEAR 9


Ah yes, it is that time of the week when I take the time to update my goings on for the past week.  It is dark outside, quiet inside (other than dog snores) and I have my cuppa.  So let's get going.

I started TAAT socks on Monday evening.  It has been years since I have done TAAT socks and longer since I have done toe up.  My reasoning behind doing them TAAT toe up is, they needed to be done quickly and I wanted to make sure there would not be second sock syndrome.



The socks need another inch or so and then I will do the heel.  These are for my sister-in-law.  When I was in TX for my brother's passing, she mentioned how much she liked the bed socks she had inherited from my mom when she passed.  She did mention they were just a tad big on her though.  I got the hint LOL.  I thought it would be nice to get these done and sent to her for a little early Christmas gift.  The pattern is Southern Mossy Socks.  Even though it is for a 'regular' sock, I figured I would just stop and add a cuff when it was ankle length on me.  

Question for all you sock knitters.  Do you find your tension is different on magic loop than it is on DPN's?  These seem to be a bit bigger than when I work on DPN's.  I used the same number of stitches I always use and the same size needle.  I'm thinking I could have gone from a 1.5 US (2.5 mm) to a 1 US (2.25 mm) and gotten my DPN results.  Anyone else notice this?  Did you say swatch?  Are you nuts?  

Anyway, that is all I have done with fiber this week.  My extra time was spent decorating for Christmas.  Here a a couple of photos of some of my favorite areas of my home.


The tree is all trimmed.  It is so hard to get a perfect shot of this.  The tree is a flocked tree and that is the only part of the tree I dislike.  When the tree goes up and comes down, we are cleaning up flocking for DAYS!  We are seriously thinking of getting a plain Jane tree for next year.  Well, a prelit plain Jane that is.  

My next favorite area is our fireplace.


We have horrible inversions during the winter here, so seldom are we allowed to have a fire.  So, what to do with our beautiful stone fireplace?  We use it to showcase different things throughout the year.  The cross stitch in the back of the fireplace was done by my mom many years ago.  It is so nice to have it as a central point of our decor and reminds me of the talent and patience she had.

Today, hubby and I will be going to a friends house to make our annual copious amount of Chex Party Mix.  This tradition has been passed down from my mom to me and we have continued it for several years.  Take a look:


This is most of the ingredients for the mix.  It will make about 16 gallons of chex party mix and by the time we get done handing out the bags, we will end up with 2 for ourselves.  This is my hubby's favorite snack food.  It is time consuming and normally takes me 8 hours to make this much.  We have a friend who has 3 ovens so it should cut our time down to about 4 hours.  I will let you know after we complete it, how long it took.

Now that the house is decorated and ready for the season, we are looking forward to all the people we will be entertaining in the next few weeks.  Our Grand Daughter from Texas is coming to stay for a week during Christmas.  My husband's sister and a brother will be here for a few days close to the end of the year.  We may have one of our nephews and his wife for a day.  Our dear friends from Las Vegas will be joining us for a gathering the last weekend of the year.  It will be a busy time for us and by the beginning of next year we will be tired by so blessed by the love of family and friends.

I want to leave you with a little look of what I see daily.


He is patiently waiting for me to settle into my 'chair' so he can jump up and cuddle next to me.  Look at those eyes.  How can I say no to that look.  His 'sister' has already taken her spot on the seat next to me (it is a divided love seat).  She is not as big a cuddler as he is.  She enjoys her loves and pets but likes to sleep cuddled with a blanket instead of a human.

But when the UPS guy or Amazon person comes to the door, this is what you would think.



Yup, they turn into Rambo!

Until Next Time..............................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

That Didn't Last

Image result for oops

Remember how I said I did not have any socks on my needles since last week Thursday.  I changed that yesterday and have a look.


I cast on TAAT (two at a time) toe up magic loop last night.  When my brother passed away, his wife told me how much she was enjoying the bed socks I had made for my mom.  I knew that was a hint that she would like some that fit her a bit better than my mom's did.  

I had a lovely skein of yarn I received as a gift from ruthmckeon over a year ago.  It is Green Elephant hand dyed yarn.  It is 75% superwash Merino and 25% nylon.  I am unable to wear it myself but am enjoying knitting with it.  I know my sister in law will love them and they will keep her feet nice and toasty at night.

I still have not found my advent wreath but made a make-shift one with 4 electric candles.  Hubby and I are not able to remember where we put it last year.  I seldom put it with my Christmas decor since I want it available before all the decor is done.  We finished up the inside decor today and did not find it in any of the boxes.  I went through all the boxes we did not use this year and still not advent wreath.  I am sure it will show up about week 3.

I am just glad to have the decorating completed and now I can sit back and enjoy the rest of the season.

Until next time........................happy crafting!!!!!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Week 22 Update




Hello from a very chilly morning here in the deserts of Arizona.  It is 43F right now but will warm up into the 60's today yet.  Today also starts the first day of Advent and I have yet to find my Advent wreath to put on my table.  Hopefully I will find it today while going through our Christmas decorations for our home and tree.

There was crafting done this week, I am happy to say.  Let's take a look at what I did. 


One Christmas ornament was made this week for the local Grand Daughter.  She is the only one of the Grands that puts up a Christmas tree.  In fact, they put up 2 trees.  Yes, the spots on the mittens are sparkles.  This was made with some Lion Brand BonBon yarn I bought many moons ago with the idea of making American Girl Doll clothing.  The pattern called for DPN's and I made the first mitten with DPN's (it is the one on the right)  The second one I did with Magic Loop (the one on the left, duh) and it was much easier and turned out slightly nicer.  I put the dime there to give you a reference as to how tiny these are.

Then this happened.


A cute paw ornament.  Since the Grand got a puppy for her 14th birthday, I decided to do an ornament for him too.


That is his adoption photo I glued in the middle of it.  The family loves it.


The Fawkes socks were completed Thursday evening. (Thanksgiving)   I do no have any socks on my needles at the moment and really do not have any desire to cast on any either.  That may change in the coming week.  Who knows 

Now, this next one is totally new to me.  I told y'all Hubby bought me a Cricut Maker back in February.  It has been gathering dust since then.  I finally took a class at JoAnn's to learn the basics of how to use the thing.  Friday, was the day I decided to venture into the world of cutting vinyl for decoration.


The tumbler set is for a secret Santa gift with the family this year.  They were quite plain so I decided to dress them up a little.  It was so much fun.  I am now thinking of all the things I can make with this machine.  There are tons of gifts I could do with it and probably will.  I have joined a couple of Facebook groups that are just for Cricut users.  You may be seeing quite a bit more of this craft on my blog.

Today, we are going to be heading to Mass shortly.  Then it will be time for me to trim the Christmas tree.  Hubby got the outside of the house done yesterday.  We will also get our collection of Nativities out and put them around the house.  Tomorrow we are expecting company for the night so I also need to get the guest beds ready for them.  It will be busy around here today with all of that going on.  Good thing I have a couple of audio books loaded and ready to go.  Hubby will have football on the TV and I really do not have an interest in watching that when there is so much to be done elsewhere.  

OH!  I did manage to complete the daily blogging last month.  That is the third year I have done it but only the second year I followed through.  It was a challenge some days.  Especially since we did some traveling during that time.  The laptop/tablet I was using was so slow during the traveling.  Hubby had pity on me and bought me a brand new Windows Surface 7!  They were on sale at Costco a week ago.  He had been wanting to get me a new one for a a couple of years but I had been dragging my feet.  My old 2in1 was 'working' so why replace it.  Well!!!!!  After setting up my Surface I can see why he wanted me to switch.  Using my Cricut design space on the new one sure was a lot easier than on the old one.  The new one boots up immediately and shuts down in record time too.  With my old one, I could make a cup of tea and grab my breakfast while it was booting up and shutting down.   The best part of the new computer........my RA mis-shapen left hand does not have a problem typing on the keyboard.  This means I can once again type at my 70 WPM!  Ergonomics are very important to RA patients.  Thanks Honey for the early Christmas gift! 

To see what other's are up to "go here".

Until Next Time...............................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!