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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ickies still abound!

Happy Thursday to you my friends. Another short post I'm afraid because I still have the "ickies". Hubby sounds terrible, but his fever is gone and he returned to work yesterday. He says he feels fine and just sounds terrible, but you can't believe him. He never tells the truth when he's sick. He just hates to give in to it. Please continue to keep him in prayer.

I, on the other hand, make no pretenses. My temperature is still up, up, up and I'm coughing like, well, like I don't know what! Please take whatever precautions you need to if you can, to possibly avoid this nasty flu virus. It knocks you flat on your back in about 20 minutes from felling absolutely fine, to feeling terrible. And that's no exaggeration. :-)

Anyway, I have two pictures for you today to show you just how little knitting/crocheting is being accomplished during my lying around.

This first one is called "Pimpleise". I think I spelled that somewhat correctly. It is a free pattern on Ravelry and I just love it. I've made myself one before and several as gifts. It uses sock yarn and U.S. size 3 needles so it takes awhile. I'm using Loops and Threads Luxury Sock Super Fine that I got on Michaels with my 40% off coupons. It's so soft and feels wonderful around your neck. I bought one ball, put it in the car and went back for the other one since you can only use one coupon at a time. Using two skeins makes it really easy, because you're supposed to knit until half the yarn is gone and then begin decreasing with the other half. When you have two skeins of yarn, you know when the first one is gone to begin the second. So easy and no brainwork involved! No weighing and measuring and dividing yarn to get equal amounts.

This is a hat for Blessings Under the Bridge. A hat I started 8 days ago. Not much to see is there?

Normally both of these items would have been completed in two to three days maximum, but my fingers hurt, my eyes hurt and I'm just kind of being a flopsy mopsy doll in my rocking chair with my feet up. I am spending my time on my ipad, reading blogs, getting great ideas and absolutely nothing else is done. Very unusual for me.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hello and let you know I'm still in the land of the living, at least for now. The way I feel this morning, that may not be true tonight!!!! Just kidding. I hope next time I check in I will be up and running around as usual.

I've never managed to post a link before so I hope this works. My blog friend Henya is celebrating her blogging anniversary and has a giveaway. I hope you visit her and her happy home.

http://www.chickenstitches.com

Okay-the link didn't work but here is her address! I need a Teresa lesson in blogging!

Have a wonderful day and smile at someone, it will make their day!

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Influenza!

Sorry friends. No pictures today. I've been down with the flu since Thursday evening. Hubby succumbed to it yesterday. The doctor prescribed Tamiflu for me on Friday and Dennis got a prescription yesterday.

You know he's sick when he stayed home from work today. I cannot remember the last sick day he took. You know I'm sick when I can't knit or crochet. My fingers hurt too much to hold the hook or needles. :-(

We both had our flu shots but apparently we are "lucky" to have gotten one of the strains that aren't covered by the shot.

Hopefully I'll be back to visit with you all again soon. Hopefully I'll be we'll when I do it!! Stay healthy everyone.

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still Snowing Where You Are?

The answer to that question for me is a resounding YES! It's supposed to warm up somewhat over the weekend but meanwhile I've kept busy inside. After my post to you on Monday I got busy, busy, busy and accomplished everything on my list. Unfortunately I paid for it with painful back spasms that lasted most of the night. I've only had back problems two times in my life. Last Monday and this past Monday. It must be something about Monday's. Anyway, I went to see an acupuncturist Tuesday morning. I visited her last year for my foot problems. After 3 doctors and threats of surgery from all three, a few visits with Stephanie and all, I mean ALL of my foot pain was gone. She also got rid of my hot flashes too! A nice side effect. So after my weeks in Portland, the damp and cold there seemed to revive a few foot aches, so I made a "touch up" appointment with her. My feet are all better and she also did something so my back stopped spasming! A little bit of a dull ache once in awhile but nothing like it was before. She thinks I twisted something when I was shoveling snow last week and it may take more than acupunture to help it. I NEVER thought I would be one to have acupuncture, but I am a believer now. And it's so relaxing, that me, the person who never sleeps during the day even when sick, falls asleep every time!

So with no further ado, let me show you pictures of my week. First off, a lovely charity crafting friend Barbara, sent me a box of baby hats and grown up hats for the hospital and for Blessings Under the Bridge. Thank you SO MUCH Barbara for your generous heart and talented hands.

Baby Hats:

Big person hats:

These are the hooks that I made on Monday. They may not look very professionally done, but they fit my hand perfectly, which is what I wanted them to do. After I formed the clay, I squeezed just a little to form the ridges that fit my fingers.

The dots look bumpy, but really they are quite smooth.

Oh look at that wrinkley hand holding the hook! I'm surely getting old.

These are some cotton coasters that I made on Tuesday. It is part of a Dishcloth KAL/CAL group that I'm in on Ravelry. I made 12 of them out of one ball of cotton. They only took about 10 minutes each to make. I gave four of them to my acupuncturist who loves all things handmade, especially dishcloths. :-)

They work very well, and I had eight left for my living room!

My second January themed dishcloth for the same group. Now I have both done for my two sets of 12 months of dishcloths. Two Christmas gifts for next year already begun. My! Don't I feel good?!

I made two more hearts for friends at church! Warning! They are seriously addictive. You can't stop with just one.

My thrift store console in the living room where family pictures are on display. See the grandbabies on the left? (Including Polly and Chloe). I LOVE my kids and wish they were closer. I've read in decorating magazines that you aren't supposed to put family pictures on display in the living room. Why? I want to see my family all around me in EVERY room in my house. I have pictures of them in almost all the rooms, (none in the bathrooms yet!) :-)

A little further away view. This shows the coffee table with my birds and the candlestick from my "secret sister".

And a close up of the candlestick. It's very ornate isn't it?

And finally, Polly and Chloe. One of my favorite pictures of them. Notice the same exact pose? I have a feeling I may have already posted this picture. If I did, I apologize, but it always makes me smile. They are such good buddies. Polly is having surgery today on her bladder. Please keep her in your thoughts. She's a great dog and it would devastate my dear daughter and her family if anything happened to her.

And now, I'm off to Michaels and Hobby Lobby to try to find some nice fingering weight yarn for a scarf for me. I started one three different times yesterday with different yarns, but they all had too much wool in them and were scratchy on my neck.

Then, I started a ripple afghan in crochet twice before I gave up. I don't like the colors I'm working with but may give it another try. Nothing was accomplished yesterday craft wise, it was all ripped out and wound back into balls of yarn.

So, I'm off to slipslide my way to go yarn shopping. Luckily the stores are right next door to each other and only about a mile straight down the road from my house. Waaaay to close for the yarn budget!

Have a lovely day my friends. Remember that if you give something away, you'll be surprised at the many blessings you'll recieve back!

Blessings to all of you,

Betsy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Whew! The weekend is over!

Happy Monday morning my friends. News on the weather is that it is STILL foggy and 4F on my back deck as I type this post. No time to be depressed though, I have a full day ahead of me. It was a busy weekend for the Queen house.

Hubby helped move friends of ours. Sisters Ellen & Marcia moved to a different apartment Saturday morning. The move involved three stops, Marcia's current apt., the house Ellen was staying at and a storage facility that was packed to the brim. All of this in about 12 inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits. Hubby was exhausted and half frozen when he finally arrived home. We dearly wished for a hot tub for him to soak his aching bones. Our church moving "crew" is getting up there in age and really needs to recruit some of the younger men to help with this task.

Saturday morning at our house was the monthly "craft morning" that usually stretches into the afternoon. Saturday was from 9:00 until about 2:30 or 3:00! We had a lovely time snacking on scones and cream cheese brownies I baked. I neglected to take pictures. But they were delicious. I worked on my fleece blankets, several ladies were knitting and crocheting, one just visited and another brought her sewing machine and worked on some charity sewing. We had a lovely time and I guarantee we were much warmer than the moving crew.

I did finish the blankets about midnight last night. Let's just say it was not my favorite project. I ended up sewing satin binding on two of them. By the time I finished the last corner I had it figured out!!! I used the blanket stitch on the last six blankets. At about 2 1/2 to 3 hours a blanket, I was glad to have it done. It was very hard on my hands, poking the needle through the fleece. I got wise about halfway through and started using an ice pick type tool to poke the holes before I got to them. I think they did turn out nice though. They will be mailed off tomorrow to the January project for my AC4C group. I have to look it up, but I think it's a hospital in New York state.




I do like how the blanket stitch turned out but it was tedious work. Since I didn't want a lot of joins in the yarn, I had to start with about a 25 foot long length of yarn and pull it ALL through each stitch. My arms got a very good workout!


I think the satin binding looked pretty messy and I'm glad I only did two of these. The satin was very slippery to stitch and wouldn't stay where I had it placed, no matter how many pins I used. Eight blankets done in total, but I don't think it's a project I'll volunteer for again soon. :-)

This is another hat for Blessings Under the Bridge that I finished during church last night. One more head will be warm in these freezing temperatures!


Then, yesterday after morning worship, we had our Secret Sister revealing luncheon. We each had a woman that we sent notes to, bought or made little gifts for and prayed for all last year. Yesterday we revealed who we were and drew the names for our new "sister". I was in charge of the luncheon and I asked ladies to bring salads or desserts and I made mini chicken salad croissant sandwiches. They were very popular and the ladies seemed to enjoy themselves. It was a lot of work decorating and preparing and cleaning up, but a few ladies helped me with the clean up afterward and we have worked in the church kitchen so much together that the time went fast. As they say "many hands make light work!"

These were two of the gifts I recieved from my "sisters" yesterday. The first is a rose from the lady that I gave gifts to last year.


The little birds are part of the final gift from my "sister". She also gave me a beautiful candle that I forgot to photograph. They look very cute with my larger birds that Mandy bought me when I was in Portland don't they?


Hubby and I also bought a new carpet cleaner last night. We loaned our old one out so many times that it finally came back the last time in pieces. I'm going to clean the downstairs bedroom carpet just to make sure it works and then wait for a warmer day to clean the rest of the carpets. We only have carpeting in the bedrooms and family room so they don't get too dirty, especially with just the two of us, but I like to clean them a couple of times a year just to get all the deep down dust and allergens out of them.

I'm also going to try my hand at making some handles for my crochet hooks today. Only the duplicate hooks that I have until I decide if I like them. It should be interesting! I've read mixed reviews online about how easy it is to do. Some say they burn very easily and others say anyone can do it. We shall see!

Okay, I'm off to begin my day. Have a wonderful Monday and be sure and smile at someone today. It will make their day!

Blessings,

Betsy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frosty Thursday

Hello Friends!

Well, in my last post I told you that I thought I would have to go buy more cotton? I did just that and bought 20 more balls, about half varigated colors and half solids. My bin is chock full of cotton, just waiting for dishcloths to appear on my needles and hooks!

I have a post full of finished objects for you. It's a little picture heavy so here goes.



These first two are the baby blanket for my friend that I told you about in my last post. I don't think I've ever been happier to complete a project. I really don't like these colors, although once the border was on it seemed to "come together" a bit better. It's been washed and blocked and will be delivered tonight. Thank goodness.

Once the blanket was finished I could finish my happy little snowman. He literally "jumped" off the needles last night! Isn't he cute? I'm making another one for my sets for the year. It's really a light blue yarn, although it looks gray.


Then, since it was still fairly early in the evening, I decided to try my hand at one of the hearts from Lucy at Attic24. I found it a very simple pattern to follow. I've never made her roses or leaves before but I still finished this in under an hour. I already gave it to my very best friend, Jenny, who stopped by for tea this morning. By the way, she was on the way to the doctor to be checked for a terrible cold she's had for over a month. Would you say a prayer for her for healing? I thought the little heart would make her feel better. I was thinking about her while crocheting it, so it was the perfect gift.

The second picture is a more accurate reflection of the color of the rose. It's a beautiful mauve color, not the washed out color the first photo shows.



This morning I starched the little scandanavian hearts from Teresa's pattern that I made while I was still in Portland.


I decided to string them up on a crocheted chain and hang them from my kitchen island for Valentine's decorations. The chain will easily unravel if I want to use them somewhere else later on.


This is some baby blanket fleece sent to me by a lady in one of my charity groups. After she bought the material, she couldn't finish the blankets and asked if I would do it. There is enough fabric for eight blankets. I began buying the satin blanket binding when I had coupons, but it's still pretty expensive. I think I'll use the binding I've purchased so far and for the others use the blanket stitch for the edges. I plan on starting them today and will let you know how it goes in a later post.


These last two pictures show part of the reason my pictures aren't very good today. Although I never take very good photos, we've been socked in by a frosty fog for a few days now. The air is so bad, no one is allowed to use wood burning fireplaces or woodstoves unless it's their only source of heat. Spokane is kind of at the bottom of a "bowl", with mountains all around us. The air stagnates sometimes in the winter when there is no wind and this is what happens.



It is beautiful. But cold. Very cold.

And now my lovely friends, I'm off to work on my fleece blankets. I've never sewn satin binding and I'm told it can be very slippery and hard to work with. Wish me the best!

Have a lovely day wherever you may be and remember to live each day showing love to others. It's the BEST way to live!

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dishcloth Cotton

Happy Monday Everyone!

My name is Betsy and I have a problem with dishcloth cotton! Seriously. And I plan to go buy more today or tomorrow because I truly feel you can never have enough cotton. And Michaels has Lily Sugar & Cream balls on sale this week half price at $1.00 per ball. I always try to stock up when it's on sale like this. Yesterday I bought 20 balls on the way home from church, but I really do plan to go back again. Here's what my cotton stash looks like right now-


My plan this morning is to organize it a bit in the plastic bin you see there that I found empty in the garage this morning. Since that bin did hold yarn in the past, it's obvious that I do use yarn up that I have stored so I'm not too worried about that, hubby might be worried but I'm not! :-) Does anyone have wonderful ideas about what to do with all the ends of balls that are left over? See the two bags on the left? They are chock full of odd bits and pieces that I can't bear to throw in the trash bin.

And that bag there in front? It has my last few skeins of Knit Picks Dishie. Those are only used for special projects because of the cost. But my oh my how I love the purples and lavendars in these balls of yarn.

Next are a few of my projects going at this time. First, I had begun this dishcloth-

Isn't my little snowman cute?! He's part of my plan to make two sets of twelve theme dishcloths for next Christmas as gifts. But alas...the poor little guy had to be set aside to begin this-


Now...I'm not too sure about this blanket. A friend has a grand-daughter who is having a baby shower next week. I gave said friend a dishcloth, (that she chose out of the infamous basket), who in turn gifted it to her granddaughter. Friend has lots of prevously gifted by me dishcloths, and so she gave it to her granddaughter as a gift. Granddaughter then said that those colors would make a great baby blanket and would I make one for her in granny squares? Well Grandma said she thought I would love to. And normally I would, but these colors for a baby are just grating on my nerves for some reason. However, it is their choice and I WILL persevere. I began it Saturday afternoon and hope to finish it soon. My gift to myself when it's done will be completing my happy little snowman dishcloth!

Next is an adult hat that I almost always have on the needles for charity. This yarn was gifted to me by an elderly lady in our church who can't knit anymore. I wonder how old it is? But, it does still make a lovely soft and warm hat for a homeless person. I can knit these, just going round and round. Even in the dark as I discovered last night at church while watching a video! When I got home it was bigger and no mistakes!!!


And I finally found a source for homegrown, organically raised eggs. I looked on Craigslist and found a place called Naked Feet Farm that is literally only about 7 miles from us. She does her shopping at the same grocery I do and offered to meet me there weekly so I can buy eggs from her. How wonderful is that? These eggs taste so wonderfully fresh compared to the store bought ones. Since it's not practical to have chickens in the city, even though it's allowed, this is a great compromise. When I got these yesterday she told me they had been gathered fresh yesterday morning. Can't get much fresher can you?


Look Teresa! A green one! Or three! I wish I had a place like your little farmette, so I could have chickens, but if I can't raise my own, this is the next best thing don't you think?


The lovely lady who met me said they have lots of produce available in the spring, summer and fall and beginning next fall they will have lamb available by the half or whole.

On another note..it's snowing again. Which is part of the reason for the dark pictures above. I thought since we got through most of Nov. and Dec. without much snow it would be what we call a Seattle winter again like last year. But no such luck. It has snowed all but one day since I came home last Wednesday. At least hubby thinks he has the snowblower working again and I'll have the pleasure of trying it out later this morning.

Here is Mt. Spokane from my back door on Saturday.


And my little tree in the backyard. I love the natural "flocking".


I have some fleece baby blankets to try to finish the edges. (For one of my charity groups.) I started to buy the satin binding but at $7.95 plus tax per blanket, it's out of my budget, so I think I'm just going to sew a blanket stitch of yarn around the edges. What do you all think?

There is also some mending to be done so I have a busy day ahead. I better get off this computer and get busy!

Have a wonderful Monday my friends and may the LORD bless you in whatever you set to accomplish on this His day of your life.

Blessings,

Betsy

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Home Sweet Home



I'm HOME!!! Yippee! Yahoo! Oh it was so good to sleep in my own bed last night with hubby by my side. I've missed that very much. But...I do miss my little Piper a whole bunch. We had heavy rain when we left Portland yesterday for the first three hours of the drive. It changed to drizzle for awhile and then we actually had dry pavement for about half an hour. Then it was into the heavy snow coming down. I felt so blessed and thankful for good neighbors when we got home and found our driveway and sidewalks all snowblowed for us. I was thinking about trudging through snow to unpack the car and it was wonderful to find it all done. It's been flurrying all day today but no accumulation. I took Craig and Addie, (the lovely neighbors), two knitted dishcloths and Addie was overjoyed. She loves when I give her handmade things, especially dishcloths. She said Craig did the snow removal but she's happy to take the dishcloths! :-)

Following are few pictures that were on the camera when I got home. Miss Piper LOVES to be read to. She follows the pictures in the books and has definite favorites already. Mandy reads to her every single night and has since her first day home. Our family are all a bunch of bookworms. You should have heard our movers when we moved from Nebraska!


Here is the picture of Gracie, Teresa and Taci when we had lunch together two weeks ago while I was in Portland. All are bloggers that live in the Portland area and it's fun to get together when I visit. The three of them lunch together quite often and I'm jealous!


The last picture is of Polly and Chloe. Notice the same exact pose!!! They are always in the same position as the other. If one is curled up in a ball, the other is too. Chloe is really missing Polly today and Mandy say's Polly is acting lonely too. So sad.


I've spent the morning catching up on desk work and cleaning some. A busy day but it's really good to be home and around all that's familiar.

Sorry this is short. Lots to do when you've been gone a long time! Have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, January 7, 2013

At the Coast

Hubby and I are at the coast for a couple of days before heading back to Spokane. Although it's raining, it's fairly warm, 50 degrees. Since there is a winter storm warning at home today and lots of snow, I'm not complaining about the rain. We're happy to just be together again.

We went window shopping on the bayfront in Newport this morning and I took some Sea Lion pictures for you while we were there. Hubby also bought me my Christmas present, a Keurig coffee maker in Newport. We ate lunch at Sizzler because they have a very good salad bar.

The first two are scenic pictures from Cape Foulweather this morning and the last two are pictures from our room when we arrived yesterday.

I did finish a baby hat and an adult hat on the drive yesterday but I don't have a photo of those. This afternoon will be spent relaxing in our room, with maybe a dip on the hot tub and pool later.

Of course I can't leave you without a picture of Piper yesterday. Hubby took it while I held her before we went church.