Friday, November 29, 2013

Another year...

Another year has passed since our yearly donation to the local pet shelter.   I swear, it gets harder for me each year.   These poor animals are simply cast offs in our disposable society.   Yet, there they were happy to see us.  Eagerly wagging tails and begging to be pet, some barking, some shivering.  The cats purring and playing and meowing, rubbing themselves against their cages.   

Even though our animal rescue is a small affair, they manage to keep most animals until placed.  One dog has been there since he was a puppy, about 7 months.  He is cute and sweet but average looking.  Just another mid sized black dog in a sea of them.  Heart breaking.  I always cry when we visit the dogs while Kaela always cries when we visit the cats. 

I managed to make 22 pet beds this year while Kaela made several cat toys.   

When we were picking up all the food and litter, a lady and her daughter exclaimed "WOW, You must have a lot of pets!"   I explained that we were taking it all to the animal shelter.  She asked how long I'd been doing it and when I told her, her eyes filled with tears and she shoved a 5 dollar bill in my hand, asking me to put it toward something for the animals.   I told her we couldn't take her money at which point her daughter said it would make her day.  So, we bought some extra treats with it. 

It was a bittersweet morning but we left knowing that we did some good.   If anyone has old yarn they would like to donate, I'll email you my address and you can mail it to me.  I start making the beds starting in January and aim for 2 dozen.  I use any kind of yarn although the thicker the better.  I like the cheap stuff as it holds up better. 
For anyone who'd like to do some for their own pet shelter, here is the link to my pattern.  I crochet holding 3 strands together to make it soft and thick. If you are making them for a dog, just make them a bit bigger.  Recently our local shelter started using wooden pallets to keep the dogs off the concrete and then they put the beds on top of the pallets.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

one more bird

I couldn't let this year pass without making something for daddy.  I made these right before going to Florida to give to everyone for their tree.  

The color is actually teal but in the lighting, looks more green than it is.

Just little ornaments to remind us of daddy's love for birds, especially hummingbirds.  They aren't expensive or fancy.  But neither was daddy.  Just a gentle man who loved nature and loved to create beautiful things.  I miss him so much.
This will be a hard Thanksgiving without him.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Day without Hunger

The company Dean works for is very serious about feeding people on a global basis.   LeSea is a christian broadcasting company.  They have a nonprofit food distrubution company called
 " Feed The Hungry" and feed 56,000 kids daily.  It is something Dean's boss is passionate about.

Dean was talking with his staff about doing something locally on a smaller basis and came up with "A Day Without Hunger."

Dean got started and organized to have 80,000 pounds of food delivered to a local car dealership warehouse.  Then he and his staff set to work, figuring out logistics and advertising.  They found sponsors to help get the word out to make the day a success and volunteers to get the boxes packed.   They got local churches involved to ensure the food went where it needed to go and to give God the glory for the event.  

It took a lot of hours and even more sweat but he and his team pulled it all together.   After planning for a couple months, they worked almost around the clock for over 2 weeks.  It got to the point where I think he would have had more sleep if he'd slept at the warehouse.  

Pallets of food and boxes ready to be filled...

Rainy days

Cold days

His staff was changing clothes between appointments so often, they were feeling like Clark Kent looking for phone booths to change in!

Some days with no volunteers, other days with so many they didn't know what to do with them!

In all, they gave away 2,000 boxes of food to needy families and had leftover food to donate to the local food bank.

The event was a huge success.  Dean and his staff were exhausted but in a good way.  Nothing like giving back to make you even more thankful for the blessings in your own life.  
God is good.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

birdies galore

I've been making ornaments for my themed tree.  Lots and lots of them!   

Some were specific to what I had on hand.  Like this card I altered....

And this "spoolie."  I've seen them but never made one before.   I was going to make a blue bird but never used wool roving before, much less felted it.  Once I got it shaped and dried, it resembled a hummingbird so Dean crammed a painted toothpick in it's wee head.   I think it is perfect.  The best part is that there really are hummingbirds this vibrant blue.  See?

This zentangle one was inspired by something I found on pinterest.  

I liked it enough to make lots more.

Cinnamon birds, another pinterest idea.   
Before I glittered them, they were very aromatic.  You can still smell them but sadly, not as much. Next time I made these, I'll only glitter the front!

Paper clay birds.  This is on pinterest too....hmm.  The lettering is more visible than in the photos.  I like how they turned out, simple bird shapes with holiday sentiments.

I don't think I'll have ANY trouble filling my tree with birds!

Monday, November 18, 2013

experimenting with wristwarmers......

I love the wristwarmers I made so much, I decided to make another pair for knocking around.

I wanted a pair I could use and not worry about if they got messed up, like when working outside when it is cold.  I used some leftover yarn from another project I made a few years back.  The yarn was a wool blend so I decided to make them a bit large and felt them. I knew that this particular yarn felts better and better with subsequent washings which means it will stand up to hard work. 

I used an "F" hook and chained a little larger than my wrist...about 28.  Then I worked every row as hdc.   I finished off the edges in sc.  The bobble edge is just *sl, dc* repeat around.    The picot is *ss, ch 3, skip 1* repeat all the way around.

Here they are before felting.  Vibrant stripes with a fake bobble at the wrist and picot at the knuckles.  

And after 3 washings and dryings.  You can see how the lines between the blues are blurred.  The mitts are also snug to my hand which I really like.  

Now, If you want a true stripe pattern with a real bobble edge, complete with picture tutorial, check out attic24. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

soon to be salad...

Dean and I worked in the yard last weekend and spent some time redoing the small veggie garden.  Some of our summer plantings had sprouted babies.  I hated pulling them up but they took up valuable space and I knew they'd never produce anything.
I had to clear out 3 large basil plants that had gone to seed.  I seriously doubt I'll have to plant any next summer.  I did leave 2 babies that sprouted, just enough for salads and such til the first frost. 

We pulled up the chicken wire (aka squirrel deterrent) then weeded the whole thing.  I planted arugula, spinach, and some lettuces.
I also put out some leeks, carrots and brocolli....never done those before....we'll see how it goes.  
Dean put up some bird netting this time.  The chicken wire was a pain to deal with....hope the netting is better.

The plants perked up nicely after a little watering and pretty soon, the entire garden will be crowded.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

doing a little hookin' lately....

Here is a little hooky catch up!

 I have a little tree in my room at school that I decorate each Christmas.   I decided it needed a new garland...the one I had on it last year was a PAIN.  So, I crocheted this popcorn garland for it.
 I found the pattern at hooks and yarns, here.  The pattern is super easy and it whipped up really quickly.  I pulled the tree out and put the garland on it.  The kids were so excited to see it.  

I am hosting my annual Christmas ornament swap and have been experimenting with birdies.   I love this one and think it is super cute....but I have something else in mind I'd like to try.   I can always make more of these if the other idea doesn't pan many of my ideas DON'T.  

I didn't use a pattern.  I used a "G" hook and crocheted in the round for 7 rows, doing increases with each row.  The 8th row is just sc around.  Then I folded it in half to find placement for the body parts.  After sewing them all on and stuffing it a wee bit, I made the tail and crammed it where the sun don't shine.

I bought some lovely yarn last April.....and finally decided what to make with it!  
Oh. My. Gosh!  WHY did I only buy 1 skein?    
It is Marble Chunky...and it is so soft and beautiful.  I am so happy I bought it.   I may have to buy more, this stuff is AMAZING!

If you'd like the pattern, it is called Super Chunky Infinity Scarf.  I found it here at What's For Dinner?  I did make some minor adjustments to the pattern.  Since I am smallish, I only chained 21 because I didn't want it to overpower me by being super wide.  I also made it very long and twisted it once before sewing the edges together.  Mine is wrapped once in the above picture, but it is long enough to wrap twice to become more of a neck warmer.

The only other thing I've been working on is for school.  We are going to yarn bomb our school's bike rack.   I have several of our crochet club members helping.   I can't wait to get it done!  

Monday, November 11, 2013

ya gotta eat......

Nothing like a good bowl of good gumbo....

and Dean's version of "THE" bread.  Everyone has their own version of "THE" bread.   Dean's just not famous for his....but everyone wants to know if he is going to make it.

Make it like this:  Take a french loaf from Wally World and split it down the middle.  Slather sparingly with Smart Balance olive oil spread then sprinkle some garlic granules and a little Tony's for heat.  Then grill it just until it just starts to burn.

It is one of the few foods that I can over eat.  Seriously.  It is THAT good.   (okay, so is my gumbo!)

While the gumbo was cooking, I sipped away on a swirly margarita...using my new favorite glass Jill sent me this past summer.

The margarita was great......a mix of regular and strawberry margaritas that we get from a local daquiri shop.   The polka dots make it taste even better!

And what do you need to top dinner off with?  Home made apple pie with lots of cinnamon sugar on the crust....soooooo good!

Don't you love the little pie owl?  This was the first time I used him and he worked perfectly!

Friday, November 8, 2013

STILL going green...

On one hand, I hate that we haven't had much cool weather yet.   On the other hand, it is so nice to see things STILL blooming.  I even have basil to harvest....

These morning glories are blooming like CRAZY....there are even MORE blooms on the other side of the fence.  Our neighbors love us.  Lisa once told me, "We get the glory, YOU do the work!"

The gourds are actually sprouting babies.  I know we won't get to harvest them, but it is nice to see them!

same gourd, 2 days later....

And this alien lovely creature bloomed right before Halloween...(its an orchid folks, don't get too excited!)

There is so much green and new growth around here, it is almost like Spring....except when we look at the calender and realize we need to get cold weather goodies planted!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

cures what ails ya

Sometimes you don't feel good...and sometimes your daughter doesn't feel good either.

Thank goodness for hot cocoa....

Monday, November 4, 2013

crochet wristwarmers

I made myself a pair of pretty wristwarmers.   

A friend of mine was making a pair for herself and I just fell in love with them!    I am notoriously lazy so I hate dealing with patterns.  But these were worth the effort of following one.  I had to learn 2 new stitches but they were easy.  The hardest part was reading the actual pattern!  I managed to make a mistake that I didn't catch so had to repeat the same mistake on the 2nd mitten!

It isn't even cool here yet but I already want another pair!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Boo Buffet

For the last 9 years, I've made a small "Boo" buffet for the kids.  It started when we moved to Oklahoma.  We didn't know many people and Halloween was looking pretty gloomy...and not in a good way!
I spent the day cooking and decorating and surprised the kids when they got home from school.
I've been doing them ever since.  

The main dish?  um, see what happens when someone else takes the photo?  They got the name and not the food!  The dish with this creepy name is none other that meatball subs!

some salty dishes...

and treats for those with a sweet tooth....
*My Frank's Fingers can be found here.

something to wash it all down with...

and not to be left out, I had a little wicked wine of my own!

I'd share some photos of the kids but they didn't dress up this year....BOO!
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