Swap Happy – Look what I got!

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Several weeks ago I was blog hopping and I happened upon Sweet Potato Claire’s blog where she was offering to create a craft/homemade swap. I haven’t done a swap since an ornament swap a few years ago, which was fun to receive mail at that time of year. My kiddo loved it as well, but some of the swap items were ech? if that’s a word. Welp, this swap blew me away!

It was small-ish, Sweet Potato Claire did a fabulous job putting together swap partners and giving you info about your swap partner. To be honest I didn’t expect much but I was wrong! This swap blew me away with the skill and generosity of one creative individual.  While I was putting together my goodies for my swap partner and snooping around her blog, I was also in the midst of switching jobs, leaving a job, while also vet jumping with my 16 year old dog.  I had also gotten the flu for 3 days as well as the rest of my family which caused me to miss shipping out my Mom’s birthday gift on time (I suck). So, needless to say it was a tough week. Until….

I got a little package in the mail one day- Oh yeah, that swap I signed up for! I was a little apprehensive about running into the house and opening it. So I paused just looking at the box, just being happy to have received a nice gift to me and relishing ins the fact that someone had taken a little bit of their time out of their crazy or hectic schedule to think of me. Nice! Well, I slowly opened the package and couldn’t believe my eyes upon seeing this beautiful textured yarn in deep red….Whoa! It was an amazing drop stitch cowl in one of my favorite colors. Also, packed with it were handmade stitch markers, a Mason Jar notepad and a lovely postcard with such a nice handwritten note. My swap partner was Kelly Ramstack from the blog Adventures with Kelly. She’s a print designer, and created her handmade tags (obviously) which were very impressive and sweet. I’m a graphic designer so we have quite a bit in common and I appreciate all those little details she added to her box. She even wrote on the outside of the box and decorated it as well – nice touch!

So thank you Sweet Potato Claire for hosting a great and successful swap! And Thank you Kelly for such a lovely swap gift and thinking of me! I’m hoping to do a few more swaps in the future that are as thoughtful and as well put together as this one!

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The Da-Do-Run-down…

So very quiet on the blogging front in these parts, eh? Yes, yes, lot’s of goings ons, ramblings, musings, and new-found stirrings started to accumulate and poof a drop of the earth was necessary. No pressure right?

Well here’s the rundown:

We had a most pleasant visit to the Atlanta Airport for a 9 hour layover while en route to a wedding in Enid, OK. What? Never heard of Enid, you’re kidding. Well it’s about 200 miles north of Oklahoma City and 200 miles south of  Wichita, KS where we finally landed late, late in the eve. It’s a flat ghost town all the way to Enid which is yet another ghost town all on its own. Uüber Flat as well. But it did have a lovely farmers market where we got some chow-chow that we learned could not go through security on the way home, and it had some awesome old western buildings. We did find a warehouse/museum that housed all sorts of incredible artifacts from old western movies sets and americana, was very interesting.  They tried to keep us there as long as possible, apparently even a wedding shouldn’t keep us for checking out such a collection.

Enid also is home to Garfield Furniture. Long ago it was the Grand Ave Hotel and thought it was eerily familiar. Turns it it was on the ONE episode of Ghost Lab I’ve ever seen, who knew such info would come in handy. Legend has it that it was where John Wilkes Booth (of the Lincoln Assassination) had lived out his days under an assumed name. Read the whole rig-a-ma-roo here! We also had some awesome custard at Freddie’s, which I’m still craving. MMMMM, custard! There were quite a few storms while we were there and the allergens in the air were brutal in wheat country so missed the water park. However, like all good post wedding parties we headed out to eat at a funky sports pub called Pastimes. The interior was very ornate that included showing the tin tile ceilings, old brick walls and fresco’s as well as some old pics and maps of the town. Okay, old by the mid west standard, nothing in comparison to England or anything, but old-ish! Ya dig….Oh and then there was the OLD COWTOWN MUSEUM in Wichita, Kansas….Yes, the Cowtown Museum, it’s a living history museum and was probably the best part of the trip next to some good old fashioned paintball that we did post wedding!

Then it was WORK, WORK, Work all over the place. Family gatherings, reunions, selling some goods at the local farmers market, a few plays from summer camp, a boat ride or two, a tube down a river and then I had a major allergy attack and broke out in hives! Ewwh! Pretty much July was haze as I tried to figure this new allergy out…hmmm, still a mystery but currently under control and hopefully fading! So now I’m a Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, who lites up like a christmas tree in all sorts of pollens, molds, mites and danders to name a few. It looks as though I have to experiment with a few more known allergens (don’t do soy, so mainly dairy & eggs which I keep to a minimum anywho), try some new shampoos. I’ll be au natural and beyond…any recommendations I’ll happily listen to, trust me! My herbalist friends always try to help but I’m allergic to most of what they recommend as well. C’mon give a girl a break, ya know? My hubby thinks I’m losing it, as I don’t really let my allergies stop me so he’s not really reminded of them all that often and I think he forgets that they present themselves when I don’t want them to….

So I guess that’s where I’m at. Been in my seriously cool studio, cranking out some Schtuffff! What? I didn’t mention the studio? What? No pics? Oh Man! Soon to come. Right after I finish this baby sweater for my new niece due any day now!!!

And I leave you now….with the FORCE!!! American Girls Style!!!

This is what happens when you leave to creative playful girls alone and allow them copious amounts of Toilet paper…quietly later you head to the bedroom and find this! GASP! and start hysterically rolling about on the floor! I mean, they even have a storm trooper!!!

Gingerbread Mania…

Every year since I’ve known my hubby, we’ve gone to his mother’s to participate in the decorating extravaganza of Gingerbread House making. This is not your Martha Stewart process of decorating, more like a wham bam, get it done while you can process. I do like to take my time, pay attention to detail and try to be somewhat inventive in the process but I’ve learned a lot from these Gingerbread excursions, let me tell you.

His mother use to live in NYC, so we’d drive out to see her and drive home for 4-5 hours while trying to maintain construction of a wavering gingerbread house..Oh my! That was fun! Some years she came to us. I have a Wonderful kitchen AID mixer, and the mom in law loves to use it! (I can still peel off Royal Icing from hard to reach places of that machine.) When our lil girl had a better handle on the g’bread construction process I left a lot of it up to her and something she does with her Grandma. I’ve learned the creative process is different for a lot of people. I’m visual and take pride in my creativity. I would say, my hubby’s fam is more about spending time together and not the end result, but laughing and having fun. Not bad, right? So about that letting go part, I let my daughter come up with her own ideas (granted I may toss in a couple of what if’s or hmmm, or your could try to see possibilities) and so the combination and polar opposites of the creative process of gingerbread construction comes through, in her eyes, her vision…..this year being almost 9. This is my daughter gingerbread house done independent of adult help, minus a few of dad’s royal icing patches….She had a wonderful time (as you can tell)!


The day continued with a tree purchase and decorations and always, always with her topping the tree!!!


And later on I got to tend to some Holiday knitting for a small little person in the family! Isn’t the Gnome cute!!! It’s the Gnome-baby from Ravelry! Created in some Patons wool.


There was also some more small gift knitting for a fun Aunt. A single lady who has a great sense of humor. Last year she was the recipient of the lacy blue knitted thong. This year it’s a chapstick cosy…..in the form f a penis, HAH!!! You gotta love the stuff you can find on Ravelry, really now, a penis chapstick cosy, I know have a line of her co workers who want one.

My sad news for some holiday projects was that I never got some pics. One of  the Urban Homesteader Ponytail hat, which kicked serious butt. And the other an American Girl Doll poncho for my nieces new Julie doll she was getting this year. It was similar to the Ravelry pattern, but not quite… Now that’s quite a busy day filled with some chuckles and grins-love those kinds of days!

She Wore A Gooseberry Beret (input Prince reference here)…

Per the child’s request a Hat for her. She’s stylish and unique, a future fashion diva and a beret adds flair and happens to boast wonderfully with a pair of jeans tucked into your new tall suede boots! She’s a blast from the 70’s!


The pattern in the Speedy Cabled Beret, you can find it on Ravelry! I just used Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky, it was super soft, thick and looked lovely when completed! I’m thinking of making more for gifts, myself, friends…seriously it was so quick and FUN ta boot!

 

 

A Mid Summer’s OWL Complete!

Yay! I finished my OWLS sweater…It was a quick knit, just took me a bit to get it up here as a completed project. It’s summer, I’m slacking, and that’s great- as a new englander, you gotta enjoy this fantastic weather while one can!  There are a few things I would do differently next time on the OWLS though. Maybe try it as a cardigan, get rid of the decreases on the back and just make it a raglan style, as I like to hide a bit in my sweaters, I’m not a tight fitting sweater person. Overall, I love the color and it feels wonderful! It’s made with the EcoWool Cascade. It does tend to pill, but it hasn’t been to bad yet. We’ll see post-summer how the pilling continues.

As excited as I am to finish the OWLS, I can’t wait to start another big project for myself but can’t decide on which lovely cardigan to knit. I have some Arucania Atacama I’m not to crazy about. It’s a variegated green yarn and I’m not sure how it will turn out and haven’t been to impressed by what I’ve seen on Ravelry. I can’t remember why or where I purchased it but it must have been so cheap or free if I’m not all that excited about it…Maybe a February Lady, a Shalom, a Coraline or Trellis & Vine….decisions, decisions…

Slacking on Owls, but I give a hoot!

Tenuous…I think that describes the way I feel about knitting my first sweater (adult size). I started the infamous OWLS sweater. I already completed one for my lil girl but I wanted one as well! I’ve knitted waist to armpit but still having hesitation about moving on.

I believe it’s for a few reasons like… I know have to count more so it becomes less mindless…OR maybe I’m nervous about the fit and having to frog away (I want it a little longer but not sure how the sleeves will make it fit)…and then I’ve just been exhausted lately and haven’t had enough Humph to get moving on it…

To conquer my exhaustion I ramped up a new yoga routine. I’m hitting the hot yoga universe (haven’t done hot yoga for a few years.) My daughter is even in her own yoga class (not Hot) where one child introduced “Sassy Teenager Pose” this from almost 8yr olds…So during her class I have intentions on knitting the sweater more but tend to chat along with other parents and haven’t broken out my needles and eco-cascade! But there is HOPE! I have a road trip this weekend! Headed to Vermont, so with three plus hours in daylight, we’ll what progress will be made on the lump of yarn that sits by my door, that comes and goes with me on pretty much a daily basis with intentions of working on it…Spring must be near because if I’m having this hard of a time sitting still to knit…it has to be getting warmer out.

Hoot! Hoot!

Yarnage post…

Sew Spun has a Yarn of the Month Club and a giveaway at that! My favorite in her Etsy shop at the moment is the Kamikaze Yarn (above)….I love all the randomness and wonder how it would look knit up. Perfect for kids wear and some other funky duds I have in mind. 

Perusing the site I actually prefer the ART Yarn of the Month Club I just discovered she had as well!  I have been experimenting with art yarns and find them so fun and fascinating. As I attempt for a consistent art yarn of sorts from my end of the earth, I can see the effort that went into each skein at Sew Spun! Man I wish I could spin some coils like that! Back to the spinning wheel for me then! Oh, and cross your fingers I win the YOTMC Giveaway…Yummy!