Friday, November 2, 2012

Punkin' Heads

The adorable Kurbis baby hat pattern, a free one off Ravelry. I did this one using worsted weight Wool-Ease with size 5 dpns to start the stockinette rolled hem. Then changing to size 6 dpns for the rest of the project.

 So cute! Finished in time for a photo shoot for Halloween. The hats are modeling atop of upturned bowls.

I made another one the next night since I really enjoyed making the first so much. The cute stems are made with an I-cord. These are the same size, just on different bowls.
Not blocked yet, of course....These will look better on some real punkin' heads!

Do It Yourself Chalkboards

I got inspired to make some of my own little chalkboards! I thought I would use chalkboard paint, though there is also a spray you can get. I used the liquid kind. It is available at any craft store. I painted many coats on this art board letting the coats dry in between each layer. The only drawback to using this paint, is you get the foam brush marks on the finished product. So a spray would leave a smoother surface. However it still worked pretty well.
I also chose a tiny art board with an easel for fun, as well as a few picture frames. For these, I painted directly on the glass.

 After letting these dry a good looong time, I put them back together and tried them out with some chalk. Pretty darn cute!

The large board I put in the kitchen to use kind of like a Bistro menu board. Dinner is served!

 One of the frames I took in to work and on this one, I decided to put some chalkboard vinyl with adhesive backing on the reverse side of the glass. This chalkboard "paper" is sold in a roll, and usually found near the white boards.
I got some chalkboard Bistro markers that are like a paint pen, and come in quite a few colors. They wipe off with a damp cloth. Voila! It really makes a nice changeable greeting for the counter.
Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ciao! There's Yarn in Italy!

We started in Rome...

 Made our way via train to Orvieto, then rented a car and drove to Pienza. We stayed at Cretaiole Agriturismo. You can read all about the trip on my Italy Blog so I won't cover all the details here. You must go there and see all the pictures and videos I put up!

I did see a few small yarn shops in Lucca.

And a knitwear store in Montepulciano.

While in Florence, I was somewhat lost trying to find the Accademia museum to see The David. I stumbled upon a yarn shop when I came down this street. It was one I had looked up online prior to our departure.
It was Campolmi Roberto Filati Yarn

Right there on my little "lost" pathway. It was so comforting to turn and see this wall of yarn in front of me. You have no idea...

I of course went in and immediately got 3 skeins of sportweight merino, just because I could, and because it was only 2 euros a skein.
 The ladies there were so nice and pointed me in the direction of the museum...
 And since I had to get something from a street vendor, I chose this one in a lively stripe. It is cotton.
I actually was glad I didn't bring any knitting with me. We had absolutely no room in our bags since we carried everything on, and we had no elbow room in economy class, and our brains were just fried from the long flights that all we wanted to do was zone out and stare at our little screens and wait for them to bring us the next drink or meal on the flight. We could not sleep the whole way to and fro. It was a great trip, besides the travel part! Check out the Italy Blog!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What's a Knitter To Pack?

What's a knitter to pack when she is going to a warm place...but taking alot of airplanes? Yes, the Kindle to be sure, that is a given.

Getting ready for our trip to Italy. It is fun! And alot of work. All the planning and organizing. I have the required lightweight, quick dry clothes, travel shoes, a travel purse... really nothing frivolous at all. The bare minimum clothing and underthings. A few scarves. One dress.
Even though I am keeping it very light, I am at the weight limit already on the carryon...We'll see if I can squeeze any knitting on to the plane!
I am not sure what I would want to take and knit. I know if I see someone else knitting and I don't have mine, I'll be jealous...Whatever I decide to take, I will have to carry it all around. In case I get a mean agent, who demands my needles are dangerous and I must leave them behind...(not likely, as TSA says you can take them on board), I don't want it to be something very valuable. I suppose socks, yes, I know, I heard you said "socks",..I am not into socks, remember? Ha ha, I suppose I could start for fun. I already knit a mini shawl, which I am wondering now where it will fit and if it will seem too hot in the weather there. Unless I wear it on the plane. I do plan to try to visit a yarn shop while there in Lucca. I am not sure what to expect to find in the way of bringing any yarn back with me, however it will be interesting to see what they carry. It is not my primary goal of the trip, so I will just be pleasantly surprised if the shop has anything worthwhile.
Meanwhile I will continue to do suitcase "lift" exercises to gear up around the house and keep up with my walking, as I hear we will we be doing plenty of that!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Extreme and Stormy Pantry Makeover

What does one do in Seattle when plans have canceled due to summer thunder and rain showers? I know, sounds wimpy doesn't it? I mean Seattle and rain usually go together. However, a bus ride downtown in the rain wasn't on our agenda, so we will postpone our excursion for another day. Instead, I know what sounds fun....Organize my pantry! I googled: "My pantry is the size of a closet" for some ideas. I seriously did. Well, turns out that my shelves are a good thing to have instead of other things like "no shelves" or, according to some people who also hated them..."wire baskets."
Here's how mine looks to start...Not too bad, but not too good either.

I should show you how many bags I removed from the lowest shelf area. They were taking up far too much real estate. Three bags stuffed with, well....plastic BAGS! And then all the paper bags. We will use some of both for garbage, so I am not one of those people who can go bagless in Seattle. I will recycle the plastic. And yes, I do have some reusable bags, so don't judge me!:

Where to begin? First, REMOVE all items from the pantry. This could get fun.  Ah, but first, turn on the music, and get out the chips. I mean, I had to clean things up, right? Plus, they are from T.Joes and have no preservatives. They sure are ORANGE though. Weird. Now we are rolling!

All right. That wasn't too hard. Oh, what's that you say? Arrange the items according to HEIGHT so you can see your tallest items. Put "like items" together.... All right. Next?

Check all items for the EXPIRATION date. Ok, that sounds easy enough. That means start a bag for RECYCLING  and start another bag for things to be TOSSED OUT.

Oh, you mean the moment I have been waiting for has finally arrived? I can chuck the can of sardines in the trash that I have so patiently and nicely been saving for my husband to eat? He says he would never eat them "alone"...and that's just how he would eat them around, they are expired...So sorry. Bye Bye, sardines!

Next, WIPE off the shelves so they are nice and clean. My sort of empty shelves before they were cleared:

 Ta Da! Then come up with a plan to put the things back that makes the most sense. Well, we also have a daughter who likes her certain kinds of food and so I thought maybe I'd give her some space for it. The Vias are mine :):

So she will get a little shelf...I overturned a tin to make a raised shelf for the smaller cans, like olives and tuna that get hidden. I put all the canned food on one shelf.

And all the pasta on another shelf. Gee, do we eat much pasta? Not really. Why does it get a whole shelf? I might have to rethink this later.

Ok, so here is the before, minus all the bags on the lower shelf:
And here's the after. Saved some bags, but now have room for napkins. Things are easier to see and have a place. It looks alot better to me, and that is what counts right? Even if you cannot tell a difference, I sure can. I took out 3 bags of trash and two bags of cardboard, and 3 plastic bags full of plastic bags (!) to be recycled. At least it looks tidy for the next few hours, right?

That SO inspired me, I moved on to the baking cabinet.
Tons of stuff in here too, and alot of it expired. I was able to move a few items that were not used often to another cabinet location and free up more space for important things used all the time in baking.  And after, much better!

Now let's tackle the all around medicine, tea and weird cabinet by the sink:
Can you say "expired vitamins?" That took up alot of valuable room here. Also, tea...decaf, regular, and all kinds in between. I was able to get rid of, consolidate and rearrange, toss and...voila!
May not look different to you, but it is a kinder, cleaner version of what it was before! Yahoo!
Now I had so much more energy left after all this, I used my Shark and vaccumed and steam mopped the floor! It was a stormy day, but I made good use out of it. I wonder what I can organize next?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thrifty Fun Summer Finds

Sometimes a little summer thrift browsing can make you happy! Here are a few of my recent treasures. A little West Elm vase found at the consignment shop near me in a pretty chic shade of blue. The flowers were from dahlia plants in our yard that we planted last summer. I just go out and clip more when I need fresh ones.

An avocado green vase from thrift store in that old type of glass that reminds me of my Grandma Lois, fit for some of our lavendar, also from the back yard.

A Sigrid Olsen top found at V. Village for a mere pittance. I have never been able to afford one from this designer.

Some Franco Sarto flats found at St. Vincent dePaul, never worn. And some Me Too flats, also never worn. Both for mere dollars. I am loving thrift store finds!

A summer fun plant found at Trader Joes that can tolerate indoor lighting as well as shade, with beautiful curling leaves and a plum underside.

Having shopping and summer fun doesn't have to cost much! It's time to go out in the back yard and pick some blueberries :)