Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Love About Your Home

Let's see if I can get to 10:

1. It is a mid-century backsplit in a nice neighborhood.

2. It has a front porch.

3. It has an eat-in kitchen.

4. I have a nice patio and backyard, with a water feature (being overhauled at the moment...).

5. It has more than doubled in value since we purchased it. (More to do with the insane housing market).

6. I have a separate living room and TV room.

7. I have 4 bedrooms, one of which is used as an office.

8. There are mature trees in the area.

9. I have a separate dining room with French doors.

10. Lots of windows and set back from the street.

This is the back bedroom that FC painted, (Miss Mew's room). My sister gave me the medical table and I made the quilt. I bought the head and footboard from someone on Kijiji.  I like the pared-down look now, no clutter.  I wish I could tell you the rest of the house is like this. Le sigh.
I have finished FC's Holidazed socks.  I used BMFA Socks that Rock Medium weight in Muddy Autumn Rainbow. Nice pattern.
Sorry for the cut-off picture of Clawedikins, but the guy will not stay still.
This is so sad. I bought Clawed a cuddler, but Howard likes it.  Tino decided to get in, and Howard wanted in too. So something that is too small for one, is bursting with 2 in it.  It's not like a Tardis, it isn't bigger on the inside.

Happy Canada Day tomorrow, and Happy 4th of July on Saturday. Which is also the start of Tour de Fleece.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Favorite TV Fathers

You know, I have thought about this and I really can't think of 10. Here are a few:
1. The Courtship of Eddie's father, with Bill Bixby. I thought, back in the day, he was just terrific.

2. Herman Munster- loved that guy.

3. Ward Cleaver- though he always scared me when Beaver had to go into his den. Because you just knew the kid was going to get it.

4. Dick Van Dyke- though you didn't see much of Richie.

5. Robert  Reed as Mike Brady. Dig that cool hairdo.

And yes, I did grow up in the '60's and '70's. Any of the recent tv fathers are pretty dumb, especially that Alan Harper- the only reason I would watch Two and A Half Men is for the kid, who is funny. And I left out Bill Cosby- though I did like Fat Albert.  I have to tell you, my own father was NOTHING like any of these guys. He was more the Archie Bunker type.

The big news this week is that the kitten is here. Clawed is the sweetest baby ever, and Tino has been a rock star, playing with him and showing no jealousy. Howard will take a bit more time, because he's hissing a bit, but the good news is that the big guys are getting more wet food because whatever is in the Royal Canin kitten is irresistable.  I'm going to have to find a more economical option because this little fella goes through almost a whole can in a day- plus kibbles. I have nicknamed him "Bobo".

I have also finished the kitchen curtains- really brightens up the room.  I don't know what this obsession with poultry is.

I have a sock finished for FC- and will finish the next one.

I am done plying the Honeybee BFL.

Other than that, the weather has been pretty good, no complaints there.

Fleece out- and purrs from Howard, Tino and Clawed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Summer Projects List

I don't care for that term "Bucket" list- which suggests to me, "STUFF I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE"- kind of morbid, and while I certainly don't plan of leaving this earthly plain anytime too soon, we all know that when you're number is up, what can you really do about it?

So, I prefer "My life enhancing list" or maybe "List of things that will bring joy" - I think it's just a nicer way of putting it.

1. Sew and put up new kitchen curtains. I got some really beautiful heavy cotton with Roosters on it, with a gold background. I also plan to add some black gingham somehow, because my house is kind of country- but with-it. I don't like kitsch, but I do adore anything with farm animals, but it needs to be done in a tasteful way.  I think the gold will add warmth and the rooster colours are happy.

2. Spin for Tour-de-Fleece. I'm all good to go, and hope to have some great handspun yarns for making gifts.

3. Plant a small Gnome garden. Maybe a fairy garden. Something with sparkly lights.

4. Dye some fibre and sock yarn.
5. Knit on my Whitby Gansey. The yarn is here.

6. Do some day-trips. Maybe just go walk along Lake Ontario.

7. A new exhibit at the ROM, Pompeii, the Shadow of the Volcano.  Looks totally cool and interesting.

8. Enjoy sitting on the patio, which I don't think I did once last year.

9. Finish an autumn-themed cross stitch and have it framed.

10. Hate to rush the seasons, but if it gets hot, I'll sure be looking forward to cooler weather.

So that's about it.  I have no vacation plans or anything.  The house tends to eat up time (and money) but I really feel it's our biggest investment, and needs to be maintained and/or improved.  I really love decorating and stuff like that.

How about you guys- any plans and hopes for Summer 2015?

This years peonies- before the sonny-o ran over them with the lawnmower.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Words You Substitute for Swear Words

This is fun, because I can curse like any sailor.

1. Fudge.

2. Farts.

3. For-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy.

4. Fiddler's Fart.

5. JC-on-a-cream-cracker.

6. Sugar.

7. Sam Hill.

8. Sweet Fanny Adams.

9. Heck.

10. GD.

I also make use of "schmuck" because I like it.

Some are classics, but I don't usually hold back. Depends on where I am and who I'm with. My father was a curser, par excellance. I learned from the master.

I've been busy and not busy- I've spun about half of my TWF Honeybee BFL, and have just over 850 yds.

Knitted and blocked a another shawl- Sunflower Shawl using The Woolen Rabbit Whisper Lace Autumn Aspen.  There are also amber beads in it.

I also finished my Fox girl- just had to do the dress. I think she's sweet.

And I sewed a bunch of project bags. I have a bit of a fabric addiction.

Right now I'm waiting on some Gansey yarn from across the big pond, and I will be embarking on knitting THIS.  I haven't knit one of these in years, as the last one took almost a year.  This one is not as highly patterned as the Eriskay, but the gauge is tight. I'm hoping my choice of Atlantic Blue will help, as the darker wools are hard to see at night.  I think a traditional gansey is knitters high art, and I look forward to working with the 5ply worsted. 

And we're also adding to the feline collection- one of Miss Mew's kittens will be coming soon, a male- whom I have named Clawed.  The name is a reference to a cat in one of my favorite movies- and as I didn't name the last 2, Clawed it is.

Fleece out-

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May Days

Hey again- it seems we're finally getting some warmer weather. It does feel more like May now, although we're almost in June.  Can you believe it?

We had a great day out on Saturday at Christie's Antique show.  This is twice a year, and as far as it goes, is one of the better local places to go for antiques. Again, you need to be educated about what you're buying, as technically, to qualify, an antique is 100 years old, unless it's a car.  To get by this, many vendors sell collectibles, which can qualify as TAT.  Still, there's alot to see, and the weather was perfect.
Neither of these is antique, but I got a cutlery tray, and a porcelain glove hand.  There were some baskets and things, but I am careful about what I buy.  Vendors weren't so willing to bargain either.

I spent the majority of Sunday weeding, and planting.  My rose bush didn't make it, but my clematis is growing great. I may have some blooms.  We have to overhaul the pond, as the liner has a leak- and I am adding some Sandcherry and things to fill in some holes.  I got lots of lavender too.

I have finished my Stripe Study- not really much to be said about it, except I love knitting with handspun.
I made a Photosynthesis shawl, which has been in my Ravelry queue since forever.  This is in my favorite laceweight, from Kim at The Woolen Rabbit..This is in Whisper which she doesn't carry anymore, and the colour is Iris- lime green with shades of purple.  There's also a whackload of lime rainbow seed beads added.  I really liked this pattern, and I love most things with leaves- so I'm happy with this.
I've spun several bobbins of Three Waters Farm BFL in "Honeybee".  This will be enough for a sweater. 
Speaking of spinning, the 2015 Tour De Fleece starts on July 4-26, the same days as the Tour De France.  I am on Team Fat Cat again, and I just love the challenge and seeing the beautiful spinning everyone does.

The guys are exhausted from being in the window, and not liking that black cat that lays in the backyard and stares at them.  They don't mind Mr. Rabbit, but that cat has to GO.

Fleece out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Things You Need To Do and Stop Procrastinating

I am not a putter-offer.  So maybe I may not make it to ten.

1. Take Howard and Valentino for shots (did that this morning).

2. Make out a will. ( I hate the thought....)

3. Make out a budget to pay off the mortgage quicker.

4. Clean out the crawlspace.

5. Do a purge in the kitchen- too much clutter.

6. I have a pair of pants and a skirt cut out that I need to sew.

7. The rest is FC's domain, and his list is long. (buy a lawnmower, paint the front porch floor, clean out the garage, install the new front door.......)

And that's it.  This week I had a bit of a spinning meltdown, and I decided in the space of 10 seconds that I needed to:

a) sell all my wheels
b) sell all my fiber and fleeces
c) go upstairs and shave my head

Because self-mutilation solves everything.  We all know that.
It's okay now.  I am spinning a sweater quantity of Three Waters Farm BFL in "Honeybee" and MaryAnn is dying another few braids.  If you have been spinning a while, it becomes easier to spin finer diameter singles, and when you try to go back to doing worsted/dk weights, not so simple. So I had to adjust my wheel tension and faff around, and I really dislike FAFFING AROUND!!!!!!

I began a new project, the Stripe Study, which was fine, but I am totally bored and will only be doing 9 repeats instead of 12.  I like the smaller shoulder shawls better, and I am really tired of this now.

So, what is everyone working on?  Anything exciting that I should know about?  I am in serious need of some inspiration.

Tino is kind of angry with me for putting him in a carrier and into the car.  They both howled all the way there and all the way back.  But.....my vet always kisses them.  He's wonderful.

Fleece out until next time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Mexican Foods

Happy Cinquo de Mayo- this list is going to be pretty short.

1. Nachos and salsa.

There. That's it.  I think what we North Americans believe is Mexican food is really Tex-Mex, or Cal-Mex.  I don't think authentic Mexican cuisine is nachos and burritos.  I have been to Mexico, and they don't really have that stuff.  They also like everything fairly spicy, even their pizza, so I don't go for that.  They put jalapenos in everything.

In other news, our weather here is definitely springlike, and I even have dandelions on the lawn. Today I am packing away all the winter clothes, but I will keep a few light sweaters out, just in case.

The back bedroom has been painted, as has my wall in the kitchen. It is no longer Jack-O-Lantern orange, but matches the other 3 walls, Classic Taupe. I'm not really a "feature wall" kind of person, and it was starting to annoy me.

I have been busy doing projects.
I made some project bags with sewing themed fabric.  Notice Baby and Ralph in the background.
Blocked the shawl from hell.....
...finished this Baa-ble hat out of leftover handspun.....
...began a new project, Stripe Study.......
...and opened the windows so the boys could get some good birding time in.  The Robins are driving them crazy.

Fleece out until next week.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things I Did Last Week

This is, you understand,  assuming I can even remember what I did last week.

1. Miss Mew's foster kitty had babies- 4 healthy kittens born to Ruthie, who is a rock star.
They are so cute I feel like crying- it's beyond adorable (we don't know if they're boys or girls.)

2. Baked some chocolate chip banana muffins (or was that the week before....?)

3. Helped out someone who found themselves up a certain creek sans a certain paddle, and was glad to do it.

4. Made a crock-pot dinner- that was really good and insanely simple.
1.Crock Pot 2. Sirloin Roast 3. Cut up onions, parsnips, potatoes and some carrots. 4. Can of tomato soup (I didn't add water or beef stock). Set for 6 hours, and Robert is your father's brother.  It even makes it's own gravy. 5. Happy FC.

5. Made a doctor's appointment (this is more of an accomplishment than you realize.)

6. Watched many episodes of Kenny Vs. Spenny, and laughed my head off.

7. Finished a knitting project of doom.  I will briefly explain after the list.

8. Made some calls on my new Smart Phone- I have always had a phone, but didn't text or blab on it. I can now do both.  The ringtone is a bleating sheep, and I ordered a case for it.  I have a big crush on Etsy.

9. Came to the conclusion that I am not really ready to have gray hair, and will be remedying this situation when FC gets home and he can do the back part.

10. Just about froze to death because it's so cold I cannot believe it.

See this? It does look like a yarn cake, but it is a representation of the 5th ring of knitters hell.  It began so well.  I have had the yarn for years, and it was in my Ravelry queue since forever.  It's called Hummingbird Charm- what's not to love? It's even a gradient with silk and cashmere- who could fail?

I spent more time ripping back and tinking than I spent knitting it. I'm not sure why, because the pattern isn't that difficult, just something I couldn't get the rhythm of.  The cast off bombed, and I had to redo it, but this time I did it from the front, that stretchy one, and ran out of yarn, having tossed the remains in the garbage.  I know.  Poor long-suffering FC braved the garbage, old weiners and all (smells just gross me out)- and it's done, albeit a little redolent of rotting Oscar Meyers.   I'll give it a soak, block it and find a victim to gift it to-if I can be that bloody-minded.

I hope you are getting a giggle out of this- because this is what happens in my life.  Pretty par for the course here.

This week will be better- fleece out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Everyday Things That Delight You

I have tried to arrange my life so that there are things around me that I can take pleasure in. After you read the list you will have a clearer idea of what I'm on about.

1. Having tea in one of my Emma Bridgewater mugs.  Anyone who reads this blog or knows me is aware of my passion for lovely dishes and tableware.  These are the things we use everyday, and you are worth it- tea is my drug so why not have beautiful paraphernalia.  Don't just drink or eat from plastic or melamine- go out and get yourself something beautiful that makes you smile.

2. This sounds totally demented, but I have a huge thing for tea towels. I cannot resist them and I have a large collection. My everyday ones are from Williams-Sonoma (bought on sale)*and I have others that I have picked up from all over.

3. I came to the conclusion that I was better off buying things like sheets and towels at higher end stores, and they last so much longer.  I splurged on some flannels and Egyptian cotton ones at L.L. Bean, and they can be washed hundreds of times and still look new.  The lesser quality frays and rips- so I do think it's better to have fewer things that I have spent the money on.  In the long run, you don't have to replace them as often- just make sure you LOVE them, and you will always be happy.

4. I love my Birkenstocks, and am happy that it is coming up to "Arizona" weather.

5. My cats- these 2 completely crack me up.

5. My friends- they are all people I can have a laugh with. We do talk about the serious side of life too, but there is always humour there.

6. My family- sometimes we laugh so hard we get stomach aches. You can't be around here if you can't take a joke.  That's how we relate.

7. Of course, my yarn, fiber and fabric stashes give me pleasure.  I have really not purchased anything lately, because I have enough to keep me going for a long time. What I have in my stash I really love.

8. Nice knitting needles- my favorites being Addi Turbos and Chiao Goos.  I have been collecting a long time and now I think I better mention these in my will.

9. I love my car.

10. The satisfaction of knowing that I have all I need, great family and friends, and that life is good. You can't ask for more than that, and I am grateful every single day.

*this is the art of living well- wait for the sales. I stalk the higher end stores, and there are bargains to be had, and it's all part of the fun.

On Friday night, FC, Miss Mew and I went to see Dame Edna Everage's Farewell Tour in Toronto. My face was hurting from laughing, we had such an amazing time.
I have been busy sewing- this is for a dear friend who happens to be a kitty pusher.
There is soon to be another addition to our ranks, and I found this cute pattern on Ravelry for free.  There are Peter Rabbit buttons on it- which I have had for ages.

This week I will also be picking up my new progressive eyeglasses- I guess it had to happen at some point, but I'm not worried.  Nothing to do with my age......

Fleece out and have a good week.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Sandwiches

Let's get to the 10:

1. At Planet Organic, they have one that is on a ciabatta bun, and there's sliced brie, greens, tomatoes*, and not sure what, but dayum, is it good.

2. Grilled cheese- good old Kraft slices on Texas Toast, with zucchini relish (my friend Pat turned me on to it).

3. Black forest ham on rye, with mustard and swiss- melted.

4. Toasted peanut butter, but you have to put butter on the toast first.

5. Toasted tomato* with mayo, and sometimes bacon.

6. I'm guessing a burger is a sandwich, and  my current fav is the Hero burger, with cheese, pickles and mayo.

7. Egg salad with dill in it.

8. Chicken Salad- but made properly. I like sprouts on top too.

9. Tim Horton's has these pretzel bagels, with salt chunks on top, and who cares if anything else is in them.

10. A fried-egg sandwich with ketchup.

I'm going to make a grilled cheese with brie and apples and walnuts. Looked good- but I'll give it to my daughter, as I'm not eating alot of carbs these days.

I do hope the Easter Bunny is good to everyone, and Tino has no idea what an Easter Bunny is, but he hopes there will be mousies.
Silly goof doesn't fit in the middle of his toy anymore- but he doesn't care.

* these are the only times I will eat raw tomatoes.