Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Yarn Along Shrug

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me over at Ginny's every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I'm trying not to miss out on the Yarn Along today, trying to get back into a blogging habit but it means I'll have to go out to my car to get my knitting project!

This week, I'm working, sporadically, on a Simple Shrug that I can keep in the car for those spare minutes during day trips. It's very simple, perfect for the car. And since I'm doing a lot of hand sewing in the house, the car is the best place to keep my current knit!

The yarn is an mohair acrylic blend that I recently acquired for free. (Someone donated a huge amount of old yarn for our AHG troop's Warm Up America project, but can use only acrylic for that. These 2 skeins of what looks like a really old label are actually very nice. I'm enjoying the project and I love the soft green. Winning!

I finished listening to All the Light We Cannot See the other day. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I requested it since it has been so popular in the past year. Pulitzer Prize winner, eh? I did enjoy the story---WWII has always been a favorite subject---but I have a couple of bones to pick with the author. First, I'm not a fan of verbizing nouns. (I know, I just did it.) Ugh. The whole book is full of nouns-turned-verbs in an effort to make the language more colorful and picturesque. It seemed very elementary to me, and don't editors care about that sort of thing? Or do they just chalk it up to "style"? It was a constant distraction from the story as I would hear it and then start thinking about I would re-write the same sentence to create the same scene without using made-up words. Then I had to got old. Second, it felt as if there were a half-dozen or more epilogues at the end. I like a story to be wrapped up, and I love knowing what happened to the main characters, but this seemed excessive. It was as if he wasn't sure where or how to end the book and his editor didn't bother to say..."Here. This is a good spot to wrap it up!"

I don't consider myself a fabulous writer, by any means, but some of the stuff that makes it past editors these days in books or newspapers boggles my mind. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is reading! I'm sure that I chose that book based on seeing it in many Yarn Alongs. Yarns Along? Editor? ;-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Alabama Chanin Stitching

Here is Meg's dress that I finished on Sunday night. I love the Alabama Chanin designs which are so customizable! Meg wanted a simple dress, and this dress, while it has 6 gores, is pretty simple. The only embellishment is the embroidery on all the seams. She didn't want any appliques which are an Alabama Chanin trademark.

The big problem we have with dresses is that my Margie has long legs and the already-too-short styles in the stores are even worse on her and not at all appropriate for Mass (or anything else, in my opinion). When I cut out this dress, I added an extra inch or so---using the marking for the next size up.

She chose the blue because she loves Cinderella, and we added the cap sleeves for Mass and the the princess look.

She also chose the pretty rosebud stitch in silver floss for embellishment. It's lovely, but it took 3 days of intensive stitching and binge-watching! All the seams are hand-sewn with very sturdy button-craft thread, and  assembly took a little more than one full day. It's much faster to whip together on a machine, but the simple running stitch was pleasant to do and you don't run into any issues of accidentally stretching the material as you sew. I found the sleeves much easier to do by hand than by machine!

It's funny that so many hours go into the assembly and embellishing, but then no hemming is required on the sleeves or skirt! Such a fun project! I have a couple of dresses of my own that I'm also working on now, and more material to make her another skirt.

Monday, April 4, 2016

PHFR - Spring Break

          round button chicken

Linking up with the ladies at Like Mother Like Daughter

I'm so late to the link-up this week. I thought I was doing well by uploading the photos on Friday, but somehow the post never got written. Better late than never! Life can always use a little pretty, happy, funny, and real, no matter what day of the week it is! (ha! missed the linkup!)


This corner in my neighborhood is the Most Beautiful. I've probably told you about it before, but there are 5 large cherry trees there and it's magnificent. I often wonder how the neighbors would feel if I brought a blanket and a book and camped out for the afternoon to read underneath them!

On a spectacular spring day we had a tennis match near here, so Pip wanted to go early and hike up to the "Indian Seats". We had gotten a late start, so we had to hike pretty quickly the 3.8 miles round trip. I spread out a blanket on the grass at the tennis match and promptly fell asleep!


Between knitting projects, I've just been making pompoms like crazy! They're so much fun, and the oblong basket is now on my kitchen table as a centerpiece of pompoms. LOL. 


Meg has been reading The Hobbit in school, and they had to paint peg dolls as some of the characters and illustrate a particular scene. She started this project pretty much at the last minute and spent a full day painting these guys. Who are they? Can't you tell? Gandalf in the back, Thorin Oakenshield, Fili & Kili in the middle, and Bilbo in the front. She did such an amazing job that I want to order some large peg dolls and paint little wooden saints with her.


Last week was spring break, so we celebrated by having Pippo's wisdom teeth extracted! That kept me home most of the week, and not a little bit bored. I started knitting a shrug which I'll show you later this week (maybe!), but it just wasn't keeping my attention.

I got an irresistible urge to sew, instead of knit, while making pompoms. It's crazy how that happens around Easter when it's really too late to make anything like an Easter dress! I wanted to make Meg an Alabama Chanin jersey dress, and she picked out Cinderella blue for her fabric. It's completely I just finished the 15.6 feet of embroidery on the princess seams last night. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to show you!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Easter Octave!

Happy Easter!

It was a beautiful Easter Day! Not weather-wise, but in my heart and in my home. We went to the first Mass of the day which was quite lovely. All my offspring managed to make it home for the day where we ate lots of food and sweets, played Quiplash, and laughed hysterically.

I made peppermint pattys and almond-butter cups for the first time. They are yummy, but more satisfying than boughten candies, so they will be with us a while longer!

I think the crazy, Georgia pine pollen has peaked, so it is safe to enjoy the rest of the gorgeous spring! Unless you have allergies, in which case you may be miserable for a while longer.

Christ is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lenten Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me over at Ginny's every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Have you seen the Panama Hat video/pattern? It's super-cute! One of my friends begged me for one, so I got to work with some white Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I had on hand. I've never used it before, but it's gorgeous and perfect for a child's knit. Feels wonderful, knits beautifully (or crochets, as the case may be!), and I'm sure it won't be scratchy at all. You know how kids hate scratchy stuff!

I found some free flower patterns at All-free Crochet to add to it in her favorite colors of pink and purple.

Unfortunately, the hat-recipient is a little punkin, even though she's 6 (?), so it was too big and I had to make another, slightly smaller. The extra one is in the shop over at Rosy Knits for someone who needs an Easter Bonnet!

The book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, was a gift from my husband when I suddenly felt the need to give up Facebook at the start of Lent. I haven't gotten far because I have a stack of other books to amuse myself with, but I expect it will be very interesting, and, perhaps, just slightly depressing. It was first published in 1985, with this 20th Anniversary edition released in 2005, and if we were amusing ourselves to death 30 years ago, the problem is infinitely greater now with the advent of home computers, laptops, smartphones, unlimited streaming data plans, and more. Have you read it?

This little punkin belongs to a friend. Teeny-tiny at just a few pounds, I was compelled to whip up a crocheted sweater to help her stay warm! "Mom" hadn't been able to find one small enough. No, that's not it in the photo, that is her leash harness.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lent Update

I'll bet you thought I gave up blogging for Lent! Not really; it has just fallen way on the back-burner lately for lots of reasons. I think I'm coming back....because I need an outlet for me. I am finding myself to be in a weird phase of life with 4 of my 6 children out of the house and the remaining two frequently in their rooms 90% of the time when they ARE home! Strangely, my life no longer revolves around my children and I've been at loose ends a little, lately.

I could get back to painting the trim in the basement, which I abandoned around Thanksgiving because Holidays, you know. I'm going to do that because it needs to be done, and I'm am also going to do some other things for myself.

I have plans to knit (of course), and sew, and read, and walk (a lot), and maybe blog. It is time to start remembering who I was before children....Well, maybe not. I am a different, hopefully better, person than I was before children, so I can't ever go back to that, but I can test the waters and find out who this new person is when she's not busy with Mom Stuff.

Friday, February 19, 2016

{PHFR} Winter Edition

round button chicken

Linking up with the ladies at Like Mother Like Daughter

I started this post on January 29, and never finished it! I don't know what's up with me and blogging these days; it doesn't seem to be much of a priority, even though I generally enjoy sharing. I guess life is busy and I have other priorities. Say hi and tell me what's up with you!


Pretty yarn that I got for Christmas is turning into a pair of socks for me. Although, halfway through the second sock they seem to be on hiatus! Something else caught my eye. You know how it is! This yarn, though, is really weird; I've never seen yarn like this that is a completely different color in the sunlight. The blues turn into a greenish gray, so I'm not actually sure what color they are. What do you see? Of course, this is an indoor picture so they probably look blue.


I was having a bad day when I started this, so I sat down with my remote control, Netflix, and my new pompom maker. Pompoms are fun and good for the soul. ;-)


Pip wanted a Beardo for his birthday, so everyone had to try it on. Katie wore it best. 


I love this wool mitten. Did I show it to you when I made it (them)? Well, I lost one at the March for Life in DC. I had them on over my fleece gloves, but if I wanted to use my phone, I had to take off the mitten. Did that several times, and somehow I lost one. I'm pretty sure I have some more yarn, so I should be able to make another. They were really nice and warm. :-(

Our winter seems to be almost over. Lots of 60+ degree days in the forecast. I may not need my wool mittens much more for a while.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Snowy March for Life

Praising God that I am home from a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC, for the annual March for Life with some American Heritage Girls during the biggest storm of the century!

Our girls have wanted to make this trip for over a year, and it has been in the plans since October. The weather can always be unpredictable in January, but you can imagine the alarm at the dire weather forecasts for the past week or so!

Thankfully, our departure was scheduled for Thursday, the day before the storm started in DC, and we were on a charter bus with a church group, so we had no ability to cancel and get our money back. Individuals may have backed out, but the bus was going.  We arrived in Washington in good time to take the Metro to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a beautiful Mass for Life. We didn't lose ourselves or any girls on the subway thanks to our experienced host and matching red hats!

Well-bundled and excited girls headed out Friday morning to meet with Senate staffers at the Senate building before a brief walking tour on the way to the rally at the Washington Monument. It was awesome to see so many religious sisters and priests and brothers in their habits on the way to the rally!

The snow began precisely at one with the beginning of the March, and it was snowing heavily by the time we reached the Supreme Court. No one cared about the snow; the atmosphere was joyful and determined to end the scourge of abortion in our country because life is truly beautiful in all its forms.

Saturday we awoke to about 20" of snow, closed Metro, and no sightseeing to do. That was sad, but our snow-starved Georgia girls did play in the snow for a while before taking a walk through Georgetown. Fortunately, blizzard force winds didn't begin until around three, so we had all the time outside that we wanted! We had a couple of group meetings in the lobby that were very beneficial, discussing the March and our impressions, and then meeting the founder of PATH (Post abortion Treatment and Healing). That was very informative for the girls---and her, too, since she didn't know about AHG!

Leaving on time on Sunday was very much in the air, and we ended up leaving at noon instead of 8 a.m. giving us a verrry long day! It was a great trip and I am so happy and proud that we didn't cancel and we were part of the smaller-than-usual, but determined crowd. There were approximately 50,000 marchers while there are normally 500,000-800,000! (Not that you would know that from watching network, mainstream news. They steadfastly ignore the March or show tight shots without giving any hint of the true size of the peaceful, loving demonstration!)

I hope you know that marching and hoping to repeal Roe v. Wade is not an indictment of post-abortive women. We love them and want the best for them, and we want to create a culture where life (and the amazing, unique ability of women to GIVE life) is respected. We don't want more women to experience the pain of abortion and its aftermath; we want them to give life to their children, and if they can't raise them, to give them to one of the millions of loving couples experiencing infertility.

A couple of other good reads for you: The Remedy for Legal Abortion at Like Mother, Like Daughter, and what to do if you Can't Make the #Marchforlife

^And this girl is beautiful! She was so excited about the snow and spent her 14th birthday on a bus. Bless her little heart! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sock Knitting


~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me over at Ginny's every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

My goal was to finish these socks by yesterday, but no such luck. I've tried, but maybe I underestimated how long it takes me to knit a sock. I thought it was a pair in a week, but it seems to be closer to one week per sock! I also expected them to be shorter than they are turning out to be---the ball of yarn doesn't seem to get any smaller no matter how hard I knit!

Well, I have lots of time for knitting today, so if I don't get distracted by Brooklyn or the crochet project I brought, I might be able to start the second sock. I don't think I will get to wear them for the winter weather this weekend, but I tried!

Oh, and Brooklyn? Loved the movie, loving the book as well.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Funday Quick Takes

~Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum. Drop in for more Quick Takes. ~

I seem to be having such a hard time getting back into the blogging groove! I guess because it's Birthday Month around here, and after Christmas we've been celebrating birthdays and doing a lot of planning for American Heritage Girls. It's been fairly busy and I'm hoping to take down the Christmas decorations tomorrow! Today, though, I thought I would give you a little snapshot, or seven, of what my day has been like. :-)

  1. 8:00 a.m. Dropped off Pip for school after an extra-long, extra-rainy drive. Seriously yucky weather, and I'm really disappointed in Google for telling me that today was just going to be 'cloudy'!
  2. 9:00 a.m. After sitting in the car at Chik Fil A, in the pouring rain, knitting and checking FB for an hour while Meg sleeps, it's time to try to rouse her!
  3. 10:00 a.m. I've had coffee and hash browns and she is working on her homework while I check my blogs, email, and work on my sock.
  4. 11:00 a.m. We've chatted with the lovely, German hostess for a little bit about knitting and local yarn shops, and Meg is about out of work to do. She still has math, but her old-fashioned, wooden pencils broke and don't come with replacement leads.
  5. 12:00 p.m. In lieu of math, we have spent the last hour planning an AHG event that she is in charge of executing. We've researched, come up with an email, a flyer, a schedule of events, and even put together a crossword puzzle for one of the activities. I love online puzzle makers! They have always added a little extra fun to homeschooling. So, now we'll order a little lunch for Pip and myself before heading out to school. (Meg ate at some point in the morning!)
  6. 1:00 p.m. We delivered Pip's lunch, and Meg has her 2 Friday classes, art and drama. I wait. Usually, I walk with a friend and then knit the last hour or so. Today was just knitting and chatting with other moms and admins.
  7. 4:00 p.m. Finally home and fried from my long, tiring day! It would be better if I had gotten that hourlong walk in, but alas. When I got home my Fitbit read 748 steps!!!! It's going to be really hard to hit 10,000 today! Even yesterday's 12,000+ won't make up for that.
I hope your day was sunnier and filled with much more movement than mine. Tell me what you did today. Have a great 3-day weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

An Epiphany Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me over at Ginny's every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Happy New Year!

Blessed Feast of the Epiphany!

Happy birthday to my 4th child who turns 20 today!

I feel as if I have been in a cave----a Christmassy cave, but a cave, nonetheless---since December 25! Visiting with family, celebrating, unwinding from all the activity and stress before Christmas (and during Christmas) has been great, but I have been avoiding most responsibilities, email, and the outside world, in general. I have this tendency to turn inward and let everything else go in order to focus on family or the holiday.

Annnd, now we are back to the real world! All the decorations are still up and I love it. Saturday afternoon we will probably take down the sad-looking, needle-dropping tree, but everything else will likely wait until I have spare moments here and there. I like to linger over the process, if I can.

Oh, but you stopped in for a Yarn Along, didn't you! I started (and restarted) (and restarted) this Age of Brass and Steam kerchief with a skein that I got for Christmas. It's Madelinetosh tosh dk in the Steam Age colorway---which I thought very appropriate for the Brass and Steam kerchief. What's funny is that I got a skein of sock yarn from Malabrigo in almost the exact same colors! That one is wound up into 2 balls ready to start a pair of socks for moi.

Lately, I've mostly been reading magazines at night since we just got a subscription to InStyle magazine. Over Christmas I listened to The Girl on the Train which was a very good mystery. Rachel, the girl on the train, has a miserable commute to and from London every day and makes up a story about a couple who lives near the tracks at one of the stops. She sees them often enough that when the woman of the house disappears, Rachel has some help to offer the police. I would be interested to see it made into a movie if someone could do justice to the voyeuristic perspective offered and keep the mystery going. I was pretty surprised by the outcome!


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