Saturday, December 29, 2007

DIY: Picture Ornaments

Making picture ornaments is a family tradition handed down from my Grandma Penny. For many years now, I have made an ornament for each year that passes with pictures of us, our pets or here recently, our vacation road trip Christmas card. You too can start a new tradition for your family. I keep the supplies in a tin and get it out every year with my Christmas things. You'll need the following:

3" styrofoam ball
Velvet cut in 2" strip and a small circle
2 hair pins
Fishing line swivel
Any size bell
Metallic fabric paint
Craft glue and a picture

It's really quite simple to glue together following the pictures starting with slicing off an end of the styrofoam ball (I found using a bread knife works the best) and tracing your ball on the picture. Just be very careful when working with the glue not to get it smeared all over the velvet by wiping your fingers frequently on a damp paper towel. Glue the picture on and then the trim starting on the front bottom wrapping it around to cover the gaps and seams. Insert the swivel on top and the bell on the bottom with the hair pins and finally, use the fabric paint to write on name(s) or place(s) and the year on each side. Allow to dry, hang and enjoy your snapshots in time.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Got Nothin' Better to Do

While husband is occupied in the garage modifying his kick-start HD Shovelhead with an electric starter and new belt drive, I'm looking forward to four days off from work with nothing better to do than to lounge by the fireplace, sip some wine and work on my latest knitting project. What a great weekend to rejuvenate and reflect on the passing of 2007 and new goals for 2008.

On second thought, I'd better get myself into the gym to work off the extra holiday weight!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

I hope this post finds you reflecting on a wonderful Christmas holiday. We've had our family dinners and all the gifts have been opened. My best gift has been spending a very long, snow-filled weekend with my family and several get togethers.

I'd love to share a few of my other favorite gifts:

A cowgirl apron from Mom I picked out almost a year ago in Canton, TX. Funny, it matches my reconstructed luggage...

A shiny, chrome Harley Davidson hitch cover for my 4-wheel ride I've been wanting for a couple of years. There's gotta be a redneck joke here...

Yet another rhinestone belt buckle to add to my collection. Our friend, Micca (who works at Alefs HD) told husband I was admiring it the last time I was in the shop -- I'm like a moth to a flame when it comes to rhinestones! The biggest surprise of them all!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bring on the Snow

I woke this morning to thunder then came rain, sleet, snow and now a blizzard. We put the truck in 4-wheel drive and navigated across town to take care of (our horse) Duke. Hope you're staying in today, Melanie, Ford Mustangs don't have a chance in this kind of weather! I counted four that were stuck in the snow and thought of you. I just love this kind of adverse weather and we braved the blowing snow and limited visibility to have a breakfast lunch at Riverside Cafe and a quick stop at Twist for an emergency supply of yarn. It was a fun adventure for the day and now we're warm and cozy by the fire. Sheba's watching the snow fall and you can see how much snow were getting -- this is just what's blowing in under the patio cover. I'm hoping it stays around a while for a White Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A New Love for Wool

Living in the Midwest allows us to wear wool about 5 months out of the year. This may help explain my love for Noro but lately I've discovered classic pure virgin wool skirts from Pendelton that go great with my Born Whitley boots. Pendelton has been around a long time and they have an interesting story about their Northwestern woolen mills and Indian blankets. (I found many of these blankets for sale in the Portland, OR airport). Although my skirts were constructed in El Salvador, it's good to buy an item that at least the label reads, " Woven in our USA mills." You can buy Pendelton products on-line or find a wide selection of women's wear at Dillard's-Towne East. Nothing is more cozy than a handknit sweater, a great wool skirt and boots!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lia is Moving

My dear knitting friend, Lia, has been talking about moving for months to Spokane, WA and we've all avoided discussing it in detail because it's just too sad. But there's no getting around it now that she's there today searching for a new home and will be moving away in a couple of weeks. The Wichita KIP (Knitting in Public) experience has gifted me with many friendships over the years and with that comes the sad realization that nothing ever stays the same and people move in and out of your life. Fortunately, for us, we have the blogworld and will be able to keep tabs on her great adventures - just like we do with Allison.

Lia, your kind spirit and generosity will be greatly missed here in Kansas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Duke in the Snow

There's something very magical to me about horses and snow. They are so majestic just standing there braving the elements. (Of course, our old boy gets to lounge in a warm stall covered in hay in bad weather). I like to coax Duke out into the field with an apple and then get him to run in the field of snow - he's just so beautiful like that. Then he'll get excited and fall down to roll in the snow. I must give credit where it's due -- while all this magical frolicking is going on, husband is shoveling poop and doing the not so enjoyable things that it takes to care for a horse.

Retro Rib (Tabi) Socks

This is how you safely wear flip-flops in the winter! Using J.Knits superwash/nylon wool on #1 dpn's, I followed the Retro Rib pattern from Interweave Knits/Winter 2004 to the toe shaping then switched to the Japanese split sock Tabi pattern from Not Just More Socks. A great way to add warmth to your favorite flip-flops.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday on the Plaza

Sleet, snow and falling temperatures didn't stop us from driving to Kansas City for husband's Christmas party over the weekend. I don't get many opportunities to be a passenger in a car so I was excited to have many hours of uninterrupted knitting time. This year we all gathered at Ruth's Chris on the Plaza for exceptional steak dinners and a variety of delicious wines. It was a cold evening that followed as we walked along the Plaza with our friends John and Tammy (pictured) taking in all the Christmas lights. A trip to the Plaza will do wonders to get you in a festive holiday mood and a stop at Cabela's on the way home finished up my Christmas shopping list.

And then there was knitting -- and lots of it. In fact, I managed to finish the Bettna jacket in Noro Silk Garden in a record setting week thanks to work road trips and overnight hotel stays. Talk about multi-tasking! Now if I can only get my Christmas cards sent out...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Millais Sweater

Shelly asked me to knit up this sweater for the shop. It's a Colinette kit of Taos silk and Pariseinne mohair. I found the mohair to be pretty tricky and way too easy to drop stitches. I guess that's just how mohair is and almost impossible to undo if you make a mistake and have to tink (knit backwards!). Good lighting and deliberate stitches was mandatory for this project.