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Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday!

Hello again friends!

It's been a busy weekend and can you believe that January is almost over?  Considering that I spent the first two weeks sick and unable to do much, it was a busy month.

It was also a weekend for smashing any diet hopes that I had.  We ate four, yes four meals out at restaurants.  Admittedly, three of them were with friends that we had made plans with, but still.  Four meals out in three days?  I'm so very spoiled and my waistline is suffering.  Mexican food Friday night, breakfast on Saturday and then in the evening, pizza!  After church yesterday was lunch with a lovely bunch of friends.  I had a hot roast beef sandwich.  Yum!  Okay.  That's enough.  It's Monday and I absolutely HAVE to do better!

I did manage to finish the baby blanket that I've been knitting on for a week.  My knitting is much, much slower than crocheting and on top of that it was a lace pattern with a 20 row repeat so there was no way to memorize it.  At least not for me to memorize it!  And tah-dah!  Here it is.
Uh oh!  Now that I look at the pictures, I think I see a mistake, but since only God makes things perfect I think I will leave it alone and not rip it out as my hands are itching to do.
 And here are two up close and personal pictures to show the detail a bit better.

The pattern called for the border to be done in garter stitch, but I like the seed or moss stitch better so that's what I did.  The yarn is Caron's Simply Soft and it only took a little over a skein and a half.  So I made the blanket for less than $5.00.  Amazing!  And it's so soft and sweet.  Perfect for a special baby.

The next two pictures are of my needle case. I keep all my double pointed and interchangeables in it.  I have seen comparable cases online for upwards of $80 but I made this one in about an hour with my quilt scraps.  It rolls up into a tidy roll that fits nicely in my knitting bag and goes everywhere with me.
 A closer picture showing the pockets I sewed for each size needle and  a pocket for the interchangable cords.  See the new needle tips still in the packages.  My wonderful daughter got me duplicates of the tips I use the most for Christmas. That way I can have more than one project on the needles.  She's a knitter too and understands the necessity for being prepared when inspiration strikes!
 And here's a picture of the new haircut.  Excuse the double chins and the weird smile.  I took the picture myself holding the camera out at arms length.  It's strange to try to look normal for a camera with no one behind it!  How do you like the cut?  I'm finding that I'm enjoying different looks.  I can still clip it back with combs or barrettes.  Or I can leave it down or with a headband.  I'm taking an opinion poll so let me know your thoughts.
I've got my housework done for the day.  The last load of laundry is in the dryer.  We're having our best friends over for dinner tonight and I'm making chicken and noodles with homemade baking powder biscuits and green beans from last summer's garden.  I make my noodles from scratch and they seem to be very popular.  I get lots of requests and it's a perfect meal for a winter day.  No dessert after the weekend I've experienced!

I'm going to work on some burial outfits this afternoon for the local hospital.  Not too many people like to make them because it's a bit depressing.  The nurses told me when I made my last hat delivery that they were out of the burial gowns and hats.  They are crocheted, usually pink, blue or white.  Sometimes the baby is actually buried in it, but sometimes the parents keep it as a keepsake.  It does serve a need and the nurses tell me that the families are always grateful.  Not as fun as hats and blankets but needed, nonetheless.

I'm off to my yarn basket.  Have a wonderful Monday and I'll see you all again soon.

Blessings,

Betsy

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Projects Done!

Good Morning!

It's been a productive week around here.  I finished 6 of the rainbow baby blankets so I think I'm ready for any new little ones to arrive.  Now I need to get started on some sweater/hat/bootie sets to go along with them.  Here I have them folded up, but you can see that there are six of them.  I changed the brand of yarn for the four on top.  I can no longer get the colors to make them like the two on the bottom since it's been discontinued.  I think I like the new ones better though.  What do you think?
I also made a candle jar color out of the scraps from my Crochet Along blanket.  I love how bright and cheery it is, especially at night with the candle lit.

Isn't it wonderful?  Hubby hasn't commented on it yet so I'm not sure if he just plain hasn't noticed or he doesn't like it and doesn't want to tell me.  It's just double crochet until the top row where I decreased and then did a round in single crochet.  I got the idea from Lucy at Attic24 but adapted it a bit to fit my jar.  It slips right off when the candle is gone and I can reuse it on another!

My newest Valentine decoration is in the next photo. I had a 50% off coupon at Michaels on regular or sale priced items. This heart wreath was marked down to $4.99 because of a scratch that is on the back. You can't even see it! So, I got this gem for $2.50. It's about 16 inches across, quite large. I think that was a great deal. The new ones are $9.99 normally.


I recieved this cactus as a throwaway about 15 years ago.  It was one small leaf on a stem that I just stuck in some dirt.  It's huge now!  I still don't know what it is.  It blooms at odd times every year and never the same time.  So I don't think it's a Christmas Cactus or an Easter Casctus.  Does anyone out there know what it is?  It usually bloom about twice each year. It has one open flower right now and another bud ready to bloom.  Beautiful.


I got my hair cut yesterday and I think I'm going to like it.  IF, and that's a big IF, I can duplicate the way the hairdresser fixed it.  I've found the older I get, the thinner my hair seems to be.  I have as much of it as ever, but it doesn't seem as full.  If I can fix it decently I'll try to get a picture.  She left it long enough that I can still pull it off my neck in the summer when its hot, but short enough to make it feel thicker.

Tonight is Bible study and we have a full weekend of birthday parties and we need to find hubby some good walking shoes.  He took Chloe for a walk last night and came home with a wet foot.  When we looked at the bottom of his shoe there was a huge hole, at least an inch across is just gone from the sole.  He detests buying shoes and now he has no choice.

I'm praying that God will stop the snow and freezing rain for awhile around here.  We're supposed to go to our grandson's 5th birthday party in Montana next weekend, but the passes have been closed most of this week.  Yuck!  I'm done with winter and ready for spring.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your lives to the fullest!

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunshine, Beautiful Sunshine!

It's a beautiful day today.  Cold, but sunny and happy out.  I've scrubbed my floors.  I've finished the laundry and now I can blog and crochet the day away if I want to.  Guilt free because my chores are done and the sun is shining!


I wanted to share this photo with all of you. I found this today when I was searching my cedar lined chest for something my son wanted.

This is the first thing I ever crocheted, way back in 1967! I was seven years old and my Grandma taught me to crochet by having me make a ripple blanket for my doll’s bed. She had me crochet every single stitch so I could always say I made it all by myself! I miss her every single day-she was full of wisdom and love, just as a Grandma should be! I keep the blanket in the chest so it can be passed down to my daughter’s children someday.  This project instilled a love of crochet in me that has never wavered over the past 45 years!

I took this picture yesterday off the back deck.  The sun was trying desperately to peek through for about half an hour and then disappeared again and we recieved another round of rain/snow.  This morning everything is icey and frozen.  You can hear cars crunching down the street as they drive by!  An odd sound!  Anyway, I love the dusting of snow on all the mountains.  It looks like someone has sprinkled powdered sugar on them from a flour sifter!


The last two pictures are my small way of decorating for Valentine's Day.  I don't do much but I have a few things out that I'll be showing you.  I found these silk roses on sale at Michaels last week.  Two stems for $3.00.  I thought it was a good deal and I came home and took the flowers off the stems and put them into the big vase on the coffee table.  What do you think?  I'm not a very good decorator, but I do like the way they look.  The little cherub in the top picture was a gift a few years ago from my friend Jenny. 

And that's it for today my friends.  I'm off to find my crochet hook and yarn.  I'm going to take a short break this morning from my baby blankets, (I've made 3 this week), and try to make a candle jar cover to cheer up the kitchen.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Have a wonderful Monday my friends.

Blessings,

Betsy

Friday, January 20, 2012

Comments???

I've been told some people are trying to leave comments and they aren't working.  Will you please send me an email if you're trying to comment and it's not being saved?  I'll try to figure out what is happening.

Thanks for your help.

Betsy

queenbetsy2@gmail.com

It's still Snowing!

Good Morning Everyone!  It's Friday!  Yippee!  And....it's still snowing here in Spokane.  Admittedly, today they are small, teeny tiny flakes but they are still falling from a sky of gray.  We officially have 12 1/2 inches in our backyard according to the snow guage there.  (We choose a flat spot where no drifts form and stick a yardstick in the snow!)  To be fair, we probably actually recieved more snow than what was measured because it was blown around so much.  And here are a few pictures I took this morning while I was out shoveling.

I love the pretty "caps" snow puts on everything when it's freshly fallen.  This it the tub where I plant geraniums in the spring.


 My favorite little tree in the backyard.  Hubby thinks maybe it's dying as it's covered in brown spots.
 Look at the nice cone shape on the fence post!
 And the steps leading off of the deck.  I don't think Chloe will be navigating them for awhile.
Tomorrow is the monthly "craft day" that I have here.  It's usually the third Saturday of the month and ladies come and knit, crochet, embroidery, scrapbook.  Whatever they like to do.  And we visit.  And we eat goodies.  I've been doing this for a few years now.  It's my way of try to bring back the closeness of women in days gone by when there were quilting bees, canning parties, etc.  I think women need that time of bonding and togetherness.  In our busy world it often gets pushed aside.  Does anyone besides me think about the fact that we have all these time saving devices, washers, dryers, microwaves, computers, cell phones...just to name a few?  But we seem to have less time for each other than we ever have.  What in the world are we doing with all that time we've saved with these "time savers?"  Just a thought.

And now, have a lovely weekend and I'll be back again soon.  Stay warm and dry.

Blessings,

Betsy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Snow Has Arrived!

It has been snowing off and on for two days now.  It hasn't turned out to be the huge storm for Spokane that was forecas,t but it came close.  A town just 30 miles away had 28 inches in 12 hours yesterday!  We ended up with about 6 inches yesterday, and it's been snowing all morning again.  We're told another 3-5 today with a chance for more every day for the next 4 days!  It seems winter has come in all of it's glory!
Here are a few pictures for you.  All taken from the INSIDE of the house in the comfort of my jammies! 
Look at all the snow on the floor of the deck.  We have a cover over it so you can see how much the wind blew inside.

This picture was taken after most of us had shoveled our driveways and walks.  They have all but disappeared again this moring with a fresh round of new snow.  I'll be back outside with the snowblower again this afternoon.
 But, the time inside while it snows hasn't been wasted.  Oh no.  Four new baby hats and....
another baby blanket done and one more started.  I have five babies that I know of coming in this new year.  I like to wait and find out if it's a boy or a girl before adding the last color round the edge in a gender appropriate color.  I find these blankets take me 2-3 days depending on the time I can dedicate to them.
Has winter, (or summer depending on where you live), settled in at your house yet?  We've been so happy to dodge all the big storms this year that I don't feel I can complain.  And the snow is really beautiful, I just worry about people driving on the slick roads.  I'm trying to turn my worries over to God, but I don't always do a very good job of it.  After all, what does all my worrying bring to me?

Well, I'm off to vacuum and dust so I can crochet for awhile with no guilt . :-)  I'll be out with the snowblower in a few hours so I need to get my "inside" work finished this morning.

I'll chat again with you all soon my friends.

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finally Snow???

Good Monday morning to everyone!  Well, our weather forecaster is saying snow is on the way and lots of it!  They have predicted this before in the past month or two and it always seems to miss us here in Spokane, although the mountains have plenty for skiing.  Just the way I like it!  I'm going to try to get all my errands done today so I don't have to venture out for the next few days if I feel like snuggling down at home and knitting/crocheting.  The prediction is for 2-4 inches tomorrow and then 12-16 inches on Wednesday!  We shall see if it comes to pass or passes us by again!

We had a wonderful 50th birthday party for our minister's wife on Saturday.  We basically took over a pizza restaurant here in town and stayed for 2 hours!  The staff seemed happy and kept the pizzas coming to the table, hot and fresh!  Lots of fun was had by all and we certainly enjoyed talking to everyone.  I especially enjoyed it after having been cooped up for a few weeks by myself.

Has anyone ever done a Secret Sister/Secret Pal sort of thing?  We do it at our church for a year at a time.  In January we have our "revealing" and then get our new "sister".  Yesterday was the revealing luncheon and I found out my "sister" was the same person I had been gifting all year.  That rarely happens and it was a lot of fun to find out that we had each other.

I finished my CAL with the Lucy group on Ravelry.  I ended up making it twice as big as the pattern because it was baby blanket size and I wanted it for the back of the loveseat.  And here it is, Tah-da! 
The colors aren't quite right in the picture, but you get the general idea. Everytime I make one of these blankets I say never again.  I find weaving all of those ends in after every round very tedious.

Have I ever shown you my yarn closet?  It's a little on the empty side since I gave six big trash bags away.  I keep cards on one shelf so I'm ready for almost any event that is card-worthy!

Carol posted some pictures last week about family furniture that had been in the family for a long time which got me to thinking of two pieces in particular that we own.  This dresser was my husbands as a baby.  It has served each of our children during their baby years and now is the perfect craft dresser.  I keep  my fabric, patterns and odds and ends in it.  The small drawer at the top was perfect for baby socks, etc. and then the drawers get progressively larger.  I keep some of my pattern books on the top.  It sits right next to my sewing machine and yarn closet.  Sorry for the tilted photo.  As I keep telling you, I'm a horrible photographer, but you get the idea.

Dear hubby refinished it when our first baby was born.  Furniture just isn't made like this anymore.  Dove-tailed drawers and a nice back on the top to hold things from falling off the back of the dresser.
 This next piece sat on my grandma's back porch all my growing up years.  It's a washstand used to hold the bowl and pitcher on top and the commode behind the door.  It was in awful shape when I got it.  Hubby replaced the top and refinished it. It was missing all of it's hardware so we found some that looked antique and now it's a prized possession.  It in the sitting room off of our bedroom with family photo's an a dresser scarf my mother embroidered when she was 9 years old.  She's been gone 22 years now and I love to have these little memories of her around the house.
 Above the washstand is a picture that a friend of our family painted for us.  It's a beautiful love story that I'll make short here and tell another time.  He grew up in France and paints beautifully.  Our "adopted" daughter is married to him now, they were pen-pals in high school.  She sent him a picture we took of a sunset at the Oregon coast and he recreated it in pastels and sent it to us.  Isn't it beautiful?  Next to it is a lamp friends gave us when we were first married.  They had it for over 45 years so it's pretty old too.  We had to replace the glass cover at the top because it was missing.
Do you have any prized possessions like this that have been passed down through the family?  I know ours aren't worth much by the world's standards but the memories they have for us are priceless.  Please tell me about your memory makers.

Have a wonderful day everyone and I'll be back soon!

Blessings,

Betsy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good Morning Wednesday!

Good Morning friends! I can't believe I slept until 7:30 a.m. this morning.  That's very unusual of me and I now feel like I have lost part of my day that I can't get back.  I'm feeling a little better every day, but still very tired and sluggish.  So...I've spent my days crocheting.  I joined my first ever CAL, (crochet along) with the Lucy group on Ravelry.  That's ALL I have worked on for two days and this is all I have to show for it.

It is very slow going because I'm ending each round a different color and finishing it as I go so I won't have thousands of ends to weave in when I'm finish.  It's supposed to be baby blanket size when finished, although I had intended to make it larger to use as a throw on the sofa.  However, after some pushing, hubby finally confessed that the colors aren't his preference.  Too bright.  Too Lucyish. The picture doesn't actually show how bright it is.  So, now I've lost my drive to finish it although I will push on.  It's not in my nature to leave a project unfinished.  However, it is destined to remain a baby blanket and will probably go to one of my charity groups.  I'm estimating at least 20 hours in this blanket already and at least that much more to go.  And I was very excited at the start.  However, as I worked on it, could see it's brightness, I didn't think it would fit in our home.

This is a tablecloth I made several years ago.  I've actually crocheted an identical one for my daughter-in-law.  We don't eat on it, but I leave it on the table.  With only Dennis and I, it gets folded back and we eat off of placements!  Then after dinner it get's put back in place and looks nice again!  Nothing has ever been spilled on it and I hope it stays that way.

 Layed out it all it's glory for you to see!  I measured it for you this morning.  Six feet across!  I can't believe it's so big!
 Some of the detail closer up.  The last ring of pineapples, (edging), was finished at the beach a few years ago.  We stopped at our daughters in Portland, OR on our way to the coast and I layed the last ring down on the floor to see how long it was.  It stretched from one end of her apartment to the other.  At least 30 feet!  I was astounded!
Hubby figured out that it took approximately 2000 hours to complete!  I don't think these will be sold on ebay!

A few last pictures I took today. The fist two are the full winter moon I took out of our bedroom window at 4:30 this morning!  (I got up to use the bathroom and couldn't resist).  Bear in mind, they were taken through the glass because it was 12 F outside and I was in my nighty! :-)
 I thought it was eerily beautiful.
 This is Mt. Spokane from my back deck a few minutes ago.  No snow here but the resorts are happy.  It's okay with me if it stays that way.  We've only had 9 inches of snow so far this season.  Very, very unusual but good for the City's snow removal budget!
And now, dear friends, I'm going to go crochet on that lovely little blanket some more.  My energy bursts come and go and I've been told to try to enjoy this quiet time in my life.  I'm trying but I'm not a patient person.

I'll be seeing you all soon!

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 9, 2012

Good Morning Week!

AHHH!  I feel like I might be on the mend.  Finally!  My fever has been gone for an entire day now.  My spots have all started the first steps to disappearing.  I think the anti-viral medication the Dr. gave me was the turning point.  Hubby and I had a very lazy weekend, full of knitting, (for me), and movies on the television.

Just as we were falling asleep last night the phone rang.  We've learned not to panic when it rings after 10:00 p.m., it's usually Alex in Japan.  And it was.  He was calling to tell us all about the apartment he's found in Tokyo.  It's about a 15 minute walk to the university he'll be working at.  I was appalled at the price but he assures us that it's very reasonable for Tokyo.  He can see the Tokyo Tower, (Looks like the Eiffel Tower) from the street outside his door.  Now I have a fairly good idea of the part of town he's in since I've been to the tower a couple of times.  He begins his new job on February 1 and his emotions are torn.  He absolutely loves the people in northern Japan, but his girlfriend lives in Tokyo.  The jobs are in Tokyo.  You could just hear the excitement in his voice about new beginnings.

Here's a picture of Anri, (Alex's girlfriend), and me in September.
 And here's Alex, Anri and her dog during the same visit.

Now a few ta-da moments for you of different projects I managed to finish up while laying around all week.  Enjoy!  I also made 4 pink hats that I forgot to photograph.  These were boxed up this morning to send to the "Lil Troopers" charity.  It's a group that provides baby items for miliary families.  I just found this pattern and I love it.  A hat takes about 1 1/2 hours to knit so it's a fast, satisfying knit.  You can change the size just by adjusting your needle size.  Very easy.
 This will be a hat for our local hospital.  I was trying out a new crochet pattern and it looked huge so I tried it on a doll I have that is newborn size and it fits perfectly!
 This blanket is one I wasn't really happy with the end product, but too much work went into it for me to rip it out.  It was boxed up this morning too, for the ongoing baby shower at Pine Ridge Reservation, another charity group I'm in.  It's the feather and fan pattern.
 I think you'll be able to see the pattern better here.
There is another box to mail with two scarves and two hats for the "Outreach to Appalachia" charity group I'm in.  I forgot to take pictures of those items for you.

I finally finished the queen size crocheted blanket for the wedding shower I have later this month.  It seemed to take forever, but maybe that's because I was sick.  In actuality, it was only 9 days.
 A close up of one of the squares for you to see.  I love the pineapple detailing.
So apparentlybeing sick was a productive time for me!  Three boxes off to different charities and the wedding blanket done.  Now I can relax a bit and plan my next projects besides the ongoing baby hats.

I collect angels and my best friend gave me this one for my birthday last year.  She hangs on the wall right next to the bed.  Isn't she beautiful?
 And, of course, my Chloe baby.  She's been right next to me on the sofa the entire week.  How I love this dog.  She's such a great companion and so gentle.  She acts so shy when I take her picture!  Just like a girl!

I hope I'm well enough tomorrow to take all my boxes to the post office. I really want to beat the rate increase.  Now I need to get started on more hats for the local hospital.  My needles sure seem to keep busy. 

What are you up to today?  The sun is shining here.  How about where you live?  Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Blessings,

Betsy