Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rainbow View - Cheerful Afghan Challenge complete [Crochet]

After an extremely motivated morning of house cleaning and laundry, I decided to relax this afternoon with a movie rental and my darning needle/crochet hook.
With "Lincoln" playing in the DVD, I grabbed my almost-finished Rainbow View afghan and started weaving in the yarn ends.  

I ended up adding a few more rows than what the pattern called for, but still finished it off with the recommended border.  I didn't have my tape measure, but I'm guesstimating it to be about 45" x 60";  a nice lap throw size.

I've been in a quilting slump for sure, but perhaps I'll build up some motivation for some quilting time tomorrow ...  ;)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A new crochet challenge and family times

Mikey at the Crochet Crowd has issued out the next afghan challenge:  "Cheerful Afghan Challenge," using Red Heart's free pattern Rainbow View.  Despite having other projects underway, when I scrolled across the new challenge, NATURALLLLLY I had to sift through my yarns to see if anything was suitable to give it a go.  ;)
Pinks, burgundy, greens and neutrals --- Raspberry yumminess, right?

Our lil' Easter vacation offered some time to transplant the tomato seedlings to the next sized container. Candace came a'running over once I started organizing all the supplies;  she took over most of the procedure while I simply supervised.  35 tomato plants successfully transplanted.
She was also taught the game Othello (do you see it in the background, left side?) after watching Cassie and myself play a couple of games.  Halfway through the game, she admitted, "Mom, I'm going to majorly lose."  Strategy and practice, my little grasshopper -- strategy and practice.

After a late afternoon "hunt and gathering" trip {{as Nancy would say}}, we did what everyone does after dropping a few big bills at the store....


It never ceases to amaze me at the creativity kids can come up with if given the opporunity.  Cassie and Caitlyn created a makeshift tic-tac-toe board and proceeded to have a game of butter vs. creamer.  

We seldom order desserts, but the meal that Paul and I each ordered came with dessert included.  Therefore, I ordered a Turtle cake, Paul a piece of apple pie, and each of the girls some ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Oh.  My.  Goodness!
I was already stuffed after a great meal of fried fish -- but, I couldn't let that chocolate go to waste!

Not even 1/4 of the dessert later...... I was DONE!  

That only meant that someone else had to give it a try.......


Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The difference of another week :)

Just before lunch yesterday, we got the Public Announcement...."Due to the inclimate weather, school will be closing at 1:00 today."  
My 5th hour math class was a bit hyped up, but we plugged through a lesson on y=mx+b regardless, and it went remarkably well! 
This was our 2nd early-dismissal day this schoolyear due to weather.  Last time, I had the girls ride home with me, but this time, Caitlyn and Candace were told to take the bus home.  I wanted to spend a few moments in my classroom, packing up and wrapping up a few things seeing I was losing my Prep period (8th period).  PLUS, I wanted to get packed up in the event we would have a snow day TODAY (which, clearly we have), so that I could be prepared to plan lessons for next week over the weekend seeing that Friday is a vacation day for us.

Cassie (being in the 'big' school) rode home with me and grabbed my phone on the ride home.  Four-five inches were already on the ground, but by this time of year, EVERYONE knows how to drive in winter weather!  Slow-going....

Despite sticking around in my classroom for about 25 additional minutes and stopping at the grocery store on the way home, we STILL beat the bus home!  Clearly it was safe, slow-going for Trish, our bus driver, too!

We kept ourselves occupied by doing chores and making an Easter celebration snack for Candace's class.  At the time, I was still quite certain we WOULD have school today, and.....well..... snack needed to be ready!   

The afternoon "extra" hours flew by super quick!  Paul (who needed to work the late-shift) knew he'd need to leave quite a bit earlier than normal.  He volunteered to take the van to work so that I'd have the 4-wheel drive Escape for the morning drive to work.....

Hmpf.   Five minutes after heading out, he came back in the house saying..."Sorry Hun.  I need to take the Escape.  If you end up having school in the morning.....ummmm.....good luck."

He failed to tell me that he got the van STUCK!  {{I deduced that fact after he left and peered out the window}}. 

Therefore, Cassie and I embarked on the ordeal of shoveling, figuring out how to blow snow with the tractor, and getting this van ready for the morning.  

TWO hours later----success!  LOL.
It truly was nice out.  Candace even came out for some playtime!  38 degrees with only a bit of wind.  
By the time I was done, my hair was definitely sopping.  Silly me.  Where was my hat?!?!?!?!

Heading to bed, I was beginning to accept the idea that we MAY truly not have school today.  It was still snowing....and we easily had 10" on the ground already.

5:50AM -- the call came in.  Early vacation for our school.  Snow day.

There really was only a few mile stretch of area that got hit with some big snow;  a town 20 miles south of us ended up with about 6".  I was curious, so I grabbed my quilting ruler and headed out to the MIDDLE of our yard where drifts don't accumulate.  Legitimate 12".  As predicted.

Yah, it's April 17th.
Yah, there are people who are IRATE at the amount of snow we've had this year.
Yah, there are coworkers who are irritated that we have yet ANOTHER snow day that needs to be made up... {{I think this is our 8th snow day this year; we need to make up at least 3 of those days}}

But.... it's actually pretty out there.  
Besides, by Sunday---it'll all be melted and gone away ..... again.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The difference of a week

Gone is the winter jacket, snowpants, boots, hat and WINTER gloves...
Replaced with spring hoodie, shorts, tennies and a SOFTBALL glove.
Recall the picture from last Saturday in almost the same location of the yard ;)

This morning's rain subsided and left us with a dreary Spring day, but we're not complaining too much. The snow is almost melted, and the ground is fairly dry, so the girls are outside enjoying some snow-free entertainment.
Caitlyn was asked to feed the goats with some bread scraps we had in the kitchen.  I think she heard "tease the goats" instead of 'feed the goats.'  

Goofball!  When they jumped up on her, she partly squealed and screamed, so Candace went a'runnin' to her rescue.

Eventually, Caitlyn stopped teasing them and they were each rewarded with a slice of bread.

The chickens are out-n-about somewhere in the tall weeds.  They have only been venturing out of the coop for a few recent days; otherwise, they stayed cooped up literally all winter long.
There are only 4 remaining hens after we lost some of the hens last Fall to predators... and then we lost our rooster last week.  :(  We never were able to determine how he died.
The hens we have are laying eggs again -- YAY!!! Farm fresh eggs can finally take over those bland store-purchased ones!

Wait----scratch that!  We have FIVE hens!  In the fall, when White Mama hatched out 4 babies, ONE of them ended up surviving; only after we put it in safe-keeping with the ducks.  Three of the other babies all died, and we never were able to determine why/how they died either, although my hunch was that either the rooster or the other hens were SOMEHOW involved >:{

Today, the duck-raised-hen was introduced with the other hens;  I hope those girls treat her nicely and allow her to work her way into the clutch.  She's been laying eggs this past week too!  So, all five of our girls are doing their job.  BUT, without a 'man' in the group, we know there will be no more babies being hatched despite having two known brooders.  Therefore, Paul went out and brought home 10 baby chicks yesterday (5 Rhode Island Reds and 5 Barrocks).  We actually are hoping at least one is a rooster!

Fall Ripple [Crochet]

It's a lazy {RAINY} Saturday morning around the house.  It felt good to actually sleep until 7AM, although, I didn't go to bed until 11PM... so, it was STILL similar to waking at 5/6AM of a normal day.  
Today, there isn't much on the agenda, so it truly truly has been enjoyable to lolligag for the past couple of hours.  Coffee.  Muffins made.  Laundry started.  Dishwasher started.  Just a relaxing morning.

If I wasn't so comfortable in my glider right now, I'd get up to take a picture of the yard.  The snow is ALMOST gone.  The week's weather since our latest 10" snow storm last weekend has been absolutely invigorating!  And today, we are getting the first rain of what MAY be the start of our Spring.  {{I say 'MAY' because we have another snow storm in the forecast!  LOL}}

The girls just put the newest Fairy movie into the DVD player:  Pirate Fairy.  So, while that is playing, I'm going to work a bit on the soft ripple afghan I started last weekend.  There are oodles of ripple/chevron patterns available;  I found this one via Ravelry. [Ravelry link | Blog link].
The pattern is a 14-stitch repeat:  I established a 16 ripple repeat (224 chains), +3 for the turn.  Measurements haven't been taken yet, but it's quite wide;  leading to a generous throw size I think.

We DO have one definite on the agenda and will start tackling that once the movie is complete:  to transplant the tomato seedlings into the next sized container.  Laundry will continue throughout the day.  And I'm hoping to have some motivation this afternoon to work on the QOV blocks for Kevin's block drive.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lots going on; always something to do

I most certainly enjoyed my 'extra' day on Friday by spending much of it downstairs in the sewing room.  Celtic Solstice is STILL in pieces at various locations in my sewing room.  I pressed this set of 21 blocks and set them to the side to be a L/E project as I worked on something else.  I haven't been in the CS mood for far too long :\  Someday, someday... it'll take the forefront again.

Instead, I was motivated to FINALLY pull fabrics for Kevin's QOV Block Drive....

One set of blocks lead to another, lead to another, and lead to another... and now, I'm striving to finish off 30 blocks total to piece into a full-fledged quilt top.  By this time of the afternoon Friday, though, the weather outside had started cooperating; the snow having subsided, so we headed out as a family to get some last minute shopping done for Caitlyn's BDay party being held on Saturday.

10th birthdays are special in this house;  it's the age of ear-piercing!
As part of the shopping trip, Caitlyn's ears were pierced!

And, of course, she needed to receive earrings as a present despite not being able to wear them for a couple of months ;)

The weather for Caitlyn's party was absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!!  With the 10 inches of fresh snow, the girls played outside on our sledding hill for an hour, and had snowball fights.  There was NO wind, and the temps were in the upper 40s.  ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!!

Some party-crafting time happened too, all the while singing to Frozen playing the background.  Ah yes... the Frozen frenzy has hit this part of the world too!

The crafted stained-glass sun-catchers are giving us HOPE that Spring is nearing, so all that time was very worthwhile!  ;)  With the forecast of temps to be in the 40s/50s and even 60s! over the next 5 days, I'll be curious to see how much snow remains once Friday hits.  

The seedlings are growing, giving us hopeful reminders as well that Spring and Summer loom on the horizon.

And check this out!  While shopping Friday night, I peeked over the plants that were on sale.  
It says, "I am COFFEE PLANT."
Psht!  I'll take it!  We'll see if it does anything special besides just "be green."

Last weekend, I started a new project using one of the designs from my Crochet Stitch Designs book.  I'm calling this Harmonic.  I have intentions of going big with it as a throw afghan, but it IS a bit putzier than many of the stitches I've done before.  
When shopping, I was pulled into the yarn section and couldn't resist grabbing some new colors to play around with...

After the birthday party concluded, I set aside Harmonic and I started a NEW lil' ripple project.  Candace decided on the order of the colors, and NATURALLY she assumed....."And it'll be a new blanket for me, right Mom?"

There's plenty going on, and I'm sure there are a few things that should be placed higher on the priority list, but right now... I like working with these Aztec colors.  

There ya go then.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, April 4, 2014

An Extra Day...

The picture says it all.  

Let the weekend begin