Sunday, December 11, 2011

home 048

we've had some really pretty days here lately. very pretty, and since a couple of days ago, very cold.

it's been my goal to walk each morning, rain or shine. i haven't had to walk in the rain yet, and the "shine" part doesn't really happen until after i've left the house and have been walking for a bit. but, slowly and surely, the sun does come up and i am chasing my shadow.

Friday, December 09, 2011


oh, the weather outside is frightful, and the cold is SO delightful! oh please let it snow SNOW snow!

but, it won't. it's quite chilly now. and i'm way beyond the christmas spirit, but, i don't have enough free time to enjoy it.

i recently did a swap (knitting-wise) ... and she sent me this card.

so, let's "rejoice!"


Sunday, October 30, 2011

the nc state fair

this is actually a "cross post" ... i prefer to keep certain aspects of my life separate (ie: knitting vs. everything else). i do this because i don't really enjoy looking at crafty/knitting blogs, and read about all the other stuff. of course, there are exceptions, but for the most part, there's knitting/crochet/quilting/crafts, and then, everything else. all that other stuff is simply "life".

as i've been extremely busy, and the month of november promises no relief, i'd better get talking about october!

the nc state fair has come & gone. and now, the news of the fair is tied to e coli.

so, the first saturday of the fair, stuart & i had a little adventure ...

saff2011 007

the city runs buses during the fair, for $4 round trip. i'd much rather take the bus, than to tangle with massive traffic.  we got up early, and walked about 10 minutes to the closest bus stop.

saff2011 008

stuart has ridden the bus many times, so he's a pro. he held onto our ticket.

saff2011 011

he even helped me keep track of my knitting chart for my poppy socks, as he clicked my kacha.

saff2011 012

when we go, we like to visit the exhibits. we're not there for the latest deep-fried heart attack food-thing. we don't do rides (he's too short!). but, we like to look at all the crafty things, and the village of yesteryear.

the first place we stopped was a tent of pottery and ceramics ... i dunno about you, but i really don't know what THIS was doing at the fair ...

saff2011 013

though, i'm sure, we all have one in our closet or our past (AND i'm sure there's one at my mom's in the basement!).

from there, the next exhibit i ran across was for Ford Motor Co.

saff2011 016

this is their Fiesta. like the decal says, it really does get 40mpg. and it's NOT a hybrid. i want one. badly. i got inside, front seat and back. i want one. really. i've been driving the same truck for 14 years.

next stop, the crafts! this next part is just the general crafty stuff. i'm posting the knitting/quilting stuff over here.

saff2011 017

EGGS! lol! these were just too cute!

saff2011 019

nothing says "state fair" like a scuba-egg  =)

and then, the legos ...

saff2011 020

saff2011 021

we walked around for a few hours, and before heading back to the bus zone, we stopped and shared a cup of ice cream.

saff2011 034

we had a fabulous time, the weather was perfect (both weekends!). maybe next year i'll make an effort to enter something (though, i can't compete with those blown eggs ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

how awesome is this?

last weekend, when i was visiting friends, i of course took my iPad (i'm addicted to my tap zoo). and of course, i left my screen cleaning cloth behind, nicely hidden in the covers i was sleeping in. whoops!

so, leanne popped it into an envelope and sent it back to me ... and she folded it into this absolutely fabulous card!

it's so funny and twisted !!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

weekend visit

i went to visit friends this weekend, so i have food pictures to share ....
will made an awesome pizza! he made a rich sauce with garlic and other (mystery to me) ingredients. on top, it had chicken, mushrooms, and peppers. it was so yummy for dinner that we had round 2 the next day for breakfast!
and this is one of the perks to having free range chickens ... EGGS !!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011


the center of Irene was 133 miles due east of Raleigh at 2 p.m.

hmmm ... think i'll change the background/theme of this blog to match the weather!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

monster madness

mailing monster

i'm pretty sure anyone who regularly reads my blog knows i'm a member of ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous (or SKA for short). and, more recently, i joined the Danger Crafts group.

what i like about the danger crafts group is we do swaps! (they do kal's too)
i have never joined a sock club, or any kind of swap, before this group.

i really like this group. we knit MONSTERS. and i LOVE me some monsters! ... whether knitted, crocheted, or sewn. teddy bears? ... not for me.

my latest swap partner and i were paired up, and we both love the color green (it's a color-themed monster swap). i'm very pleased to report i got her package in today's mail, and i'm hoping it gets there before the end of the coming week.

mr. postman said, "should get there by thursday". oh, mr. postman, please don't jinx me!

but, i'm gonna fully confess what's in the package. perhaps i'm naive to think she wouldn't come and check out my blog?

here's all the stuff i'm sending her! (ps. i have a VERY hard time keeping secrets)


here's a shot of everything that went into the fabulous green bubble mailer. ps. i found the bubble mailer at office depot. they had red, green, and blue mailers.

monster on the left is sammie the sock monster, and monster on the right is max the sewn monster. i made a max for my last partner, and he's just cute! the sewing pattern comes in 3 sizes. the first time (for first swap) i sewed the size small. this time, i went for medium.

summer 087

i also knitted a couple of dish cloths. i first ran across this pattern in the 1st mason-dixon knitting book. but, the pattern is from Elmore-Pisgah yarns, and they call it the ballband dish cloth (click link and scroll down just a bit). i like mine a little smaller than theirs, so i only cast on 33 stitches.

fabric quarters

i also got her a couple of fat quarters ... they were on sale at the joann's fabric store for $1 each. i used the 3rd one to make the sewn MAX monster up above.
(i actually had a hard time deciding which fabric to use for the monster! maybe next time, my next swap partner will get nothing but sewn monsters?)

monster magnets!

so, the same day i went and got my ice cream maker, i ran over to the nearby barnes & noble bookstore. i was looking at the page magnets, and found MONSTER MAGNETS! ... a little $ (well, for a swap, that was 1/2 my budget), but how could i not?! i got a set for myself as well =)

if you've never used page magnets, they are awesome. i use them to mark the page of my knitting pattern from whichever book i'm knitting from, or as a general bookmark. and, the backside, it says, i ♥ monsters !

and, the candy

candy is usually welcomed, and it was a challenge finding green candy. but, again, i got lucky ... and there is a candy shop in my city (candy shop, not a chocolate shop). they had these bulk bins, to purchase candy by the pound. i was able to go through and pick up a variety of candies in green only. the little green tin came from the fabric store as well ... i found it in the $1 bin just before checking out.

it's always great to get things, but giving is so much fun too !!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

ice cream!

last weekend, i bought an ice cream maker (and i don't really have much of a sweet tooth!). but, there are recipes that are not your standard variety, and some are quite savory or spicy.

ice cream maker

though once the mix goes into the maker, it only takes about 20 minutes to create a soft serve ice cream. BUT, the bowl it mixes in has to pre-freeze for up to 24 hrs. thus, there was no ice cream on the 4th!

yesterday, a friend came by to visit for a few hours, and before he left, we made some crystalized ginger ice cream. i'll post more on that later .....

Monday, July 04, 2011

some more beach pictures

it's a holiday, i SHOULD be at the beach. instead, i'll just pretend ...

pinch pinch

near sunset

path to beach

cloudy morning

morning waves

Sunday, June 05, 2011

quiet sunday

... and getting things done.

i've cut my fabric for some pillowcases. i have picked these "beach" themed fabrics for this year's beach trip. last year, i sewed a batch of shark pillowcases.

and this time, was able to shop for my fabrics at mary jo's in gastonia, nc. mary jo's is the BEST fabric store ever!

let's get sewing!

though, i probably should be sewing today, i just don't feel like it. i already spent a considerable amount of time in the kitchen cooking for the week, and now feel like knitting.


that is a TON of casserole, in a 9 x 13 dish. the base of it is essentially polenta. it's not a 'first day' meal. it will be better as leftovers. which is good, as there's a ton, and i don't plan on cooking again this week.

new 5k charm

it's a ww recipe, and promises to be quite filling!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

getting ready

i'm going to the beach in a few weeks, though, i've been thinking about it for MONTHS! it's important to have things to look forward to ... it makes the hard days pass with greater ease (seeing that brass ring at the end of the tunnel).

i've created a word doc on my computer to make my list. and i got a basket to add the little things i need specifically for the beach.

fill'r up!

so far, the basket has:

bathing suits (2)
beach $
2 magazines
lt. wt. pj's
beach sippin' cup

the list on the computer includes such things as: LAPTOP! (and the power source, trackball), camera/batteries/charger, spices for breakfast, etc ......

funny ... soap is not on either list !

Sunday, May 15, 2011

sock knitting ... always

porter and sock

i think this is a shot of the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter ...

An ale that has all the chocolate and roasted flavor of a classic Porter with an enigmatic surprise thrown in for good measure, real vanilla bean. Smooth, roasted and chocolate with a creamy vanilla finish.

let me just say, it's DELICIOUS!

Friday, May 13, 2011


fabulous 1 pot meal

i made this a couple of weeks ago. it is a ww recipe, and it's easy and delicious. i'm always in the mood for 1 pot meals. i like to make something to get me through the week for lunches or dinner. this is called mexican-style brown rice casserole.

of course, the danger is, to not make something i like too often, as i will get tired of it. so, off this recipe goes into the box for perhaps a month or two, or until i'm desperate for an easy fix.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

a little more color

i love the pandora beads, but on the low end, even a single glass one is $40.

yesterday, belk department store had a sale of their "silverworks" jewelry, at 70% off (usually, it's always discounted at 60% off, ... so, if they're going to discount it always at 60% off, why don't they just price it lower and save the sale advertising?).

anyways ... at 70% off, it made some of the glass beads only $6/each. not bad.

i got a few (2 of them not pictured) ...

sliverworks glass beads

the glass ones are nice enough, but their silver beads cannot hold a torch to pandora.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

butterflies taste good

butterfly cake pans

alternate title: Score !

i ran some errands this past saturday, which included the walmart down the road. all their clearance easter items were at the front of the store, and deeply discounted. i already own the large butterfly cake pan, and stumbled upon the butterfly 'cakelets' pan. i couldn't find a price, so i tucked it under my arm as i continued to shop. upon checkout, i asked the cashier to scan it to tell me the price first. $4.50! ... $4.50 ?! yep!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

something to think about

i remember this ... such a bad storm, and i was staying late/overnight in my studio in raleigh. one of my classmates was going to walk back to her dorm, but we found someone to drive her instead. it was a nasty night.

the k-mart at the intersection of six forks and wake forest was GONE. there was debris everywhere, and a random shopping cart and perhaps an empty clothing rack was left.

and today i saw this, as i went out to do errands in the garner area. this street is one block east, and the damage is a just a stone's throw south. so close. i need a weather radio.

on the 16th, my neighbors were wisely in the stairwell, ... and i just watched the rain blow sideways.

Monday, April 25, 2011

still easter ....

for easter weekend, i did go home. i was able to swap shifts with someone on thursday, and leave work 3 hrs. earlier than i would normally. this made a HUGE difference in the weekend overall.

we kept things very simple for easter. we had a honey ham, and decided "no cooking". sandwiches it was! ham, yeast rolls, mixed fruit & yogurt, and some deviled eggs (okay, minimal cooking).

and for dessert?

easter cookies!

fancy cookies

i got this kit for the decorative tools from williams-sonoma. and, as of today, this kit is not on their website anymore! hello, it's only 'easter monday' ?!

the kit included a recipe for the cookie dough, 4 cookie cutters, 6 stamps, and 4 rollers.

i think everything is represented here, except for the easter basket cutter. (and the pan they're sitting in ... a wilton's heart shaped cookie pan ... NOT part of the williams-sonoma kit).

as i was following the recipe (so i thought), i realized my 'dough' was not dough, but instead was quite flakey. mom says, "did you use the egg?". and then she says (as i'm watching the food network in the kitchen) ... "you are NOT an iron chef!".

crappers! the egg was still sitting on the counter. WHOOPS!

otherwise, the kit & recipe are perfect!

the day before, we were doing some last minute shopping at the local small town walmart. i tell you what, i will never pass up on a walmart experience the day (or hours) before a holiday. the easter section was crazy-at-best.

it was destroyed! and crowded! and funny!

but, i did find this:

nordic ware !

i had not seen this pan at my local "big town" walmart. but, perhaps i missed it because it was in the easter section vs. the baking section. though, i've also learned, not all walmarts carry the same stock.

i am a sucker for nordic ware. i am especially enamored with their bundt style pans, and bakeware that makes cool shapes/things. and this one ... makes easter eggs! i cannot use it this year, as i was already doing the cookies, but you better believe there will be egg-cakes next year.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

dear olivia ...

because i spend so much time doing things like this:

monster making!

i don't have time for things like this:


though, the dishes ARE pretty! look at all that fabulous pyrex ;)

so the top photo is of the monster making i've been doing. i already knitted my swap partner a monster, but then i saw someone's version of a sewn one (seen here), and decided i wanted to sew some too.

i'm not modifying the pattern as of yet, but am sticking to the pattern to sew Max, just as the pattern is designed. the pattern can be found here.

in the picture up above, there are 2 max's (maxes, max-i, max x 2, maxie ?). when i was laying out the pattern pieces on the wee piece of 1/4 yard x full width of 45" fabric, i realized i could get 2 small monsters from such a small cut. so, i'm making 2.

sewing is way faster than knitting, though i've done an excellent job of stalling. i did manage to do my first machine applique ever.

zig zag zig zag

my next step is to put the eyes on. i wanted to use safety eyes, but didn't have any friggin' frackin' fray check. one quick trip to the fabric store before closing time saved the day. so, i have added a dab of fray check to where each eye will go, and later i will make the 'snip' and add the safety eyes. i'll probably also reinforce with something else that won't tear, as i don't trust the cotton fabric.

the cotton fabric, by the way, is from the kaffe fassett collection. this particular pattern is called "paperweight". i made a trade with a quilter a couple of years ago, and she sent me some of her stash ... including some cuts of these rowan fabrics.

yesterday morning, while i was out, i made a mad dash to the williams-sonoma store. i adore that store. they have the best & coolest stuff for baking. i had read lots of reviews online, and decided i "needed" these star wars cookie cutters!

may the force be with you

they also have a set for the "vehicles", but i didn't see them in my store. i guess i'll be satisfied with making little yodas, boba fetts, darth vaders, and stormtroppers. what's nice with the bakeware you buy there, these cutters, cake pans, etc, always include a recipe. and from what i've read, the recipe with these cutters works wonderfully.

and of course, some of the easter stuff was already discounted. i really wanted this kit:

easter cookies!

it includes 4 cutters, 6 stamps, and 4 rollers. the cutters mostly say "easter", but most of the stamps and all of the rollers can be used outside of the holiday.

so, olivia, are you happy now? will you keep reading my blog(s)?

(off to enjoy something unhealthy now ... burger & fries ... i have a friend that wants to show off his new motorcycle)