Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden planning and a Give-A-Way!

Hello everyone!

As you've seen, we've been getting some more snow lately. Of course I am just thrilled! But, others are not and evidently, they don't appreciate the smile on my face nor the cheerful comments about the "lovely snowfall"!

And, even with the snow coming down and resting on my emerging plants... I too am looking forward to new growth and implementing new ideas for our garden and landscape! ;-) I actually pulled out my garden books this morning and started looking to see what I want to do this growing season. The first opened book is my old garden book. It's the one I started when we first moved to this town. Having moved into a new place, I had no idea what to expect from the yard. And then little by little I added to what was already there. THEN, we moved to our current home and once again I had to wait around to see what this place had to offer in the way of plantings. The colorful third book from the top, is the book that my honey purchased for me and I use it for our new houses garden/landscape. But I still refer to the top book because it has lot's of info I can apply to this place. (Seeing as how we only moved around the corner and up the block from our old place!)

I also purchased a Garden planning and design book. There are ALL KINDS of neat things in this book. Ideas that I'd like to incorporate into our yard.

I also decided to draw and paint in my new garden book. Might as well work on my "artistic" skills as I'm working on creating an interesting, artistic yard. Right?!? Pretty to look at and full of information!

I've put in pockets to keep all my plant tags. I've got tabbies to keep track of info that I will need regularly. And I've pasted information that I found in other magazines and newspapers and internet.

And I've made it quite colorful too! Different color pens, highlighters, tabs and drawings (some not so good but, oh well.) I have so much fun getting ready for my new season of plantings for the garden and the yard. ;-)

What are you all doing? I'll bet some of you have already been planting. Do you have books that you keep yearly information about your garden in? Leave me a comment telling me about your techniques in keeping up with what you've done! I love new organizational ideas! AND if you blog about my site AND this topic I'll put you on my list of potential winner of a GIVE- A -WAY I'll be doing on Friday April, 8th! I'm not going to say what the winner will get, that is part of the fun. Don't you think? ;-) So, let's see what grand ideas ya'll have and also, what you have done so far to plan for your growing season!

Thanks for stopping by and I'll talk to ya'll soon! ;-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Nebraska Spring and our grandbaby's feet!

My Nebraska Spring!

This is what I woke up to last Friday morning! Lot's of white stuff everywhere! It was so pretty! It snowed some the next day too! It didn't last long, although we had nearly three days of snow fall, it was the first day that actually accumulated like this. And today, most of the snow is gone! AND, the good thing is that none of the plants that were beginning to come up, were damaged.

These are the smaller of the two pairs of socks I made.

They fit him now.

He is growing SO quickly! And he is beginning to really move around! It won't be much longer now before he's running everywhere!

Something else I wanted to show you all. My mother-in-law made a quilt for her great-grandbaby. It's a 3-D type quilt in that the little animals all stick out of the quilt. It is SO cute! And Aidan loves touching them! You can see he is sitting on the quilt in the first photo. And here it is with the MIL holding it. Isn't the quilt adorable?! My MIL has sewing skills that are just amazing! I wish I could sew like her and Corinnea!

Okay, that is it from me. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I'll catch you back here real soon! ;-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Come out, come out, where ever you are.......


Is it really spring? 'Cuz, I'm not seeing it. Not in the "Sunny Spring Day" kind of way. When I walk around the town and around my house especially, I see bulb plants coming up. I even see my bleeding hearts curling up out of the ground.

But, it's soooooo dreary when you look around. The sun, for the most part is hiding. It's come out a few times later in the afternoon. But, what I really love, adore, is to wake up to see bright sun light and hear the birds chirping away! And there hasn't been any of that yet.

My tulips are coming up.... as are my crocuses, daff's and bleeding hearts (as I mentioned) I've even seen my rhubarb poking through, but, the sun is hiding....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Socks & Singing

Hello all!

I know it's been a while since my last post. Life has been a bit busy lately. Busy and yet, not so bloggably interesting.

I finished another pair of socks for grandbaby. Although... I must admit, I was knitting these under some stressful times. Nothing bad mind you. Just having headaches for days on end and having too much to do and not enough time in the day. So these little socks became a bit smaller than the other ones that I made (tension shows up in the knitted and crocheted products!). And because of that, they don't match the first pair I knitted up for him. So, instead of having a pair of green socks and a pair of blue socks. He now has two pairs of miss-matched socks. BUT, one pair has a taller leg knitted on them and the other is more of a ankle cuff sock. So, these will probably fit him relatively soon. And the longer socks when he's two or so. Michelle was correct in saying that knitting two at a time alleviates the miss-matched sock situation. Something I hadn't even thought of. I was always concerned about not ever making the second sock!

I am currently working on a pair of socks for myself. I thought I should give myself a little more practice before I attempt making socks for other adults in my family. Namely my husband. He's liking the idea of homemade socks right now, I don't want to mess that up by making him a bad pair! ;-) I knitted on my socks while driving out to Grand Island, Nebraska to see the Sandhill Cranes. Our Church choir went on a field trip out to see the cranes and also to sing at our choir directors hometown church. We all had a really fun time!

The church we sang at even put us on their board!
We had so much fun that we've all decided to do another field trip next year!

Well, that'll be it for now. I'll post some pictures of spring next time. ;-)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Good morning everyone!

Well, I did it! I finished my little socks and I must say I am quite pleased with myself. I thought for quite a while that this would be the end. That I would give up and quietly hide the sad, sad half finished little things. And then try to distract you all with other things that I've done. But, sometimes my stubbornness shines through and I actually use that quality in myself to do something good. Like finishing the things I say I'm going to finish.

So, take a look at these little socks.

Now, keep in mind that they are straight off the needles. I haven't blocked them yet. But aren't they just so cute? I can't wait to see if Grandbaby will wear them. You never know, with my luck, he'll be a kid who hates wearing socks. BUT! I hope that by the time he is big enough to wear these (they are sized for a two year old, so he'll probably be able to wear them by the time he's one year old!) I'll have gotten MUCH better at making socks and I'll be able to size and fit a pair that he'll be SO comfortable in that he'll wear EVERY Nana made socks! ;-)

I cannot tell you how happy I am that I actually figured out the heel. I found that making a heel is all about having faith. (I'm pretty sure that Michelle said that!) I tried and tried to understand exactly how all the wrapping and turning and knitting back and forth was going to have me end up with a heel. I was getting all wrapped up in the words "heel flap" and "gusset" and knit-picking everything. When I finally just let it all go, and decided to just to follow the directions and not question every step, and have faith that it would turn out the way it's supposed to..... Well, that is when it turned out!

So, now I've got my first pair of sample socks. I am going to make another pair so that I have two matching pairs of socks for our little guy. THEN, I am going to try to make a pair using Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' book. I like the idea that the socks Priscilla teaches you to make, allows you to make repairs to heels and toes when the need arise. Although, you can make repairs with the technique I just learned, it is more along the lines of darning, or patching. From what I understand, with Priscilla's technique you actually just pick up live stitches and cut out the bad part and just knit up a new heel or toe. (Not sure if I explained that correctly but, I am sure that the Priscilla way is better for making socks that will last tons longer through easy repairs!) All I have to figure out is how to make them using only ONE circular needle. Because I REALLY like how these little socks turned out and I didn't have to fiddle with a second set of needles. One set of needles, two pair of socks! So totally fantastic! ;-)

Okay, all of you out there who have been wanting to make socks! Go! Make! Socks!

And Michelle. THANK YOU so much for helping me and showing me how to make simple toe/heels and being so unbelievably patient with me. For not only skype-ing with me but also for putting up with me calling you several times and having you talk me through the steps over the phone too!

Have a great day everyone! I'm off to make another pair of socks! ;-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Very first slipcover!

Hello everyone! It's been another long while since my last post. But I've been keeping busy. Since I last posted, I've had my in-laws for a visit, had another skype session with my friend Michelle. She's been helping me learn how to turn a beautiful and easy heel for socks. Poor thing, I've been a real pest and still have nothing to show for it. Ah well, all in good time, eh Michelle? ;-)

Something I've been working on and finally finished is.........


My slip covered ottoman. Yay me! I cannot believe I actually did this. I've been reading other blogs where they slip cover furniture and they make the most beautiful coverings. And every time I'd read/see those slipcovers I think..."Why don't I try to make one myself"? But then I talk myself out of it. I REALLY didn't want to spend a bunch of money of fabric and then not finish the slipcover or worse yet, cut up all the lovely fabric and have it all go to waste! Fabric don't come cheap ya know. But then, I saw slipcovers that were made with painters drop cloth. They are really inexpensive. And then... I found an ottoman that only cost me $2.00! So I thought, now I need to try to do it. So I went out and bought some painters drop cloth for $5.00 and proceeded to "think" about how to go about doing this. I bought a couple of books on Slip covering furniture. But for the most part, they didn't really help me all that much. About the only thing I did get from it was on making the pleats. Which I finally did a couple weeks ago. But then I got stuck once again. I wasn't sure about the cording. If I should put cording on my slip cover or not. There was already cording around the top of the ottoman and I thought it would be too square-ish if I put cording on top of cording. In the end, my mother-in-law actually suggested I just rip off the cording on the ottoman and re-use it to put on my slip cover. And that is just what I did. The ottoman itself is not the best looking thing. It will always need to have a cover over it cuz it's actually rather gross and ugly looking. (I did clean it but it didn't help it much to look at). And I'll probably reapholster it at some later date because it does sink down in the middle. It needs to have new cushions and some kind of stablilizing board or something. But, for now, it is stylishly usable. Can you tell I'm sort of patting myself on the back? I am just so stinkin' proud of myself for having actually done this. And it doesn't look half bad! I would show you more pictures but for some reason I'm having an issue with blogger not wanting to upload my pictures. If I can get them on later, I'll do it. That's how proud I am of how it turned out!

So, yesterday I finally got my new book "Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy". This is the book that Michelle suggested that I get. She makes toes and heels with these directions. I've watched her do it and it looks super simple. Although, having read directions... it suddenly doesn't sound as easy as Michelle made it look. But I'm going to give it a try here in a few minutes. Now that I've finished the slipcover, I want to finish at least one pair of socks!

Okay, not sure what the deal is. I'm just not being able to get more pictures up so I'll just let it go for now. I'll try to put up more pictures later. Now, I want to get some knitting done. So...

Hope everyone is enjoying their day and I'll catch ya'll later! ;-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Socks II....?

Hello everyone!

So, it's been a few days since my last post. Which is not unusual. It's not because I've been overly busy with crafting, cooking or even eating. Although, that last one I seem to be doing a lot more of. I'm actually trying to eat smaller meals more often. Otherwise known as, eating ALL the time! ;-) Which I really LOVE doing! But... I digress..... Actually, I have been doing a few things, I began working on a foot stool to slip cover. I worked on making the pleats yesterday and I must say, they have worked out quite nicely. Even easier than I had thought. But, the hard part, I think, is about to begin. I have to attach the pleats to the top fabric of the slipcover. I'm debating on whether to use/make cording to go around the top or just stitch the pleated fabric onto the slipcover top. I am now, at yet another, "thinking/figuring" stage of my sewing. (I do this a lot when I'm "wing'n it" in my crafting". No pattern being used, just making it up as I go along.) Sometimes the "thinking/figuring" time can be quite extended. This may be another one of those times. And when I get this way, I usually go on to the next project I've got going, 'cuz ya know, I've got another project in the works. In this case, the other project is one that I was stuck on when I decided to go back to the slipcover project (because I was stuck on what I wanted to do with that one, pleat or ruffle?) Are ya'll confused yet? ;-)

Soooooo! I am stuck in my knitting. I know, I know, I was talking about how wonderful this book is and how well I was doing. But then I had/am having a major brain cramp! I can't seem to figure out her heel! The pictures in the book aren't really helping me either. Up until this section if I had any difficulties with the wording I'd then look at the picture and suddenly be able to figure it out. But, the heel is a different story. I'm just not getting it. I sat for several HOURS trying to figure it out. I knitted, ripped out. Knitted, ripped out. And knitted and ripped out some more. I did that so many times that the yarn is becoming frayed! Out of my total frustration, I decided to call on a new friend. One who is always giving me information on great books. One who knits socks and other wonderful, useful items regularly. One who left me her phone number in one of her e-mails! Those of you who read my blog, probably reads hers as well. And if you don't, you should! She is funny and down-to-earth and so, so, so helpful! She is also the one who went out, the very day I called her, and bought a computer camera and installed skype! The amazing Michelle! If you want to hear more about the Skype session go to her blog. She posted about just that.

The skype session was AWESOME (say that as your voice wiggles while saying the word awesome!) It is so fantastic when technology actually works the way you want it to! I finally got to meet Michelle through skype and talk with her and laugh with her. Fortunately, there was no crying involved although, I nearly did do that after the skype session. Because, during the, oh so fun, skype session I got to watch her making a sock heel. I sat there and was amazed! It looked so easy. So simple. So....totally like I could actually do it. If only.......

If only I had grabbed my yarn and needle and followed her. I know. Crazy. I had this fantastic opportunity to learn something I needed to learn and what did I do? I just sat there watching her! Mesmerized by how simple she made it look. Listening to her talk about how and why she did what she was doing. And laughing nearly hysterically at times. (I'm telling you, she will crack. you. up.! And her boys are like that too! I know this because they hammed it up for the camera.) ;-)

And so, to sum it up. I still have socks that look like this:

It's further along than it was a couple weeks ago. But, not by much. Hopefully that will change soon! On Michelle's advice, I decided to purchase another book on sock knitting. Hey! If Michelle says it's a good one to get, then by golly I'm a gonna get it! Oh and while I was at it I picked up a set of interchangeable circulars too. Well, I had to get something else so I could get free shipping! ;-) Those should be along in a few days! Yay!

Until then, I will go back to my slipcover and try to complete that so I'll have something to show you all that I actually finished! I think I may have figured out how I'm going to put it (top fabric and pleats) together. Sometimes it doesn't take too much time away from a problem to figure it out. Let's see if this is one of those times. ;-)

I hope ya'll have a great week! ;-) And thanks for checking out my blog.