Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pretty New Socks

One of the yarny things I did this weekend was to start a new pair of socks. I'm using Trekking XXL sock yarn (colour 50) that I've had for a while. I bought it to crochet a shawl but the pooling of colors when I crocheted with it was ugly. In fact, it looked so bad that I doubted if I would ever use this yarn for anything. But, for some reason, it spoke to me this weekend as I looked through my stash and I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did because it's knitting up really pretty. I love the colors now and I'm excited about these socks. It's so wonderful to have time to knit and play with yarn again. :-D

Itty Bitty Sock

I'm so excited to have some time to play with yarn again and I've been playing all weekend! Woo hoo! :-) One of the things I did was to knit up another itty bitty sock for my key chain sock blocker. I knitted a little turquoise sock a couple of years ago but I lost it a week or so ago. I used a pattern that came with the sock blocker but you can find the pattern HERE on Ravelry too. It's a fun little project that goes quickly and uses up a little bit of leftover sock yarn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday Fun

My daughter turned 20! That calls for a party and that's just what we did. We planned an old fashioned backyard party complete with games, dancing, a barbeque dinner, and lots of fun.

We strung lights above the grass for dancing in the evening. She and her boyfriend wove streamers through the lights for color, added ambiance and fun. Our dog, Salsa, even tried to help...

There was a croquet game to set up...

We got colorful flowers that matched the plates, napkins, silverware and cups (I forgot to take a picture of those)...

We divided them up into canning jars for an old fashioned look...

There were four tables dressed to match and each centerpiece had a bandanna cloth, flowers, snacks, bubbles and a basket full of games...

Each table cloth and bandana were different but they all tied in with the color scheme...

The old fashioned sodas (in glass bottles) were kept cold in an old wash tub filled with ice. We even had a bale of hay covered in denim for a little extra seating...

At one end of the yard, we had a lounger draped with a plaid, patchwork quilt that looked great with theme and colors...

The lounger turned out to be a popular place to sit...

The party goers enjoyed playing croquet...

The table games were a big hit...

The lights looked great when the sun went down. Here's a view from an upstairs window, looking down...

They created a great ambiance for the old fashioned folk dancing that they did...

I missed taking pictures when everyone was out there dancing. But, I managed to get a couple of shots while some of them were still out there. A little blurry but fun...

The weather was perfect that day. The afternoon was warm but not hot and evening was cool. The party went really well and everyone seemed to have a great time. I'm so proud of my daughter and so happy to have had this special day to celebrate her! :-D

Wonderfully Busy

This seems to be my busiest summer ever. So much has been going on for months. We had a family reunion. We had a party to celebrate my daughter's 20th birthday. We had family visiting from Texas. We had another family get-together at our house last weekend. We're house sitting/watering for my in-laws. We're making plans for a 70th anniversary party for my husband's grandparents in about a month. There will be another party for my in-laws 50th anniversary in a couple of months. And, lots of other stuff has been sprinkled in between. It's all been great but...whew!

The busy-ness seems to be slowing and I think I'm going to have some time to start crafting a little more. I'm really looking forward to that. Oh...and doing a little more blogging. I'm going to put some posts together this week about some of the things we've been so busy with. How's your summer going?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Espresso-ly Good

Martinis come in many flavors that sound yummy. However, I'm usually not crazy about the taste when I try them because alcohol is often the strongest flavor. I'm not opposed to alcohol...a nice shot of tequilla or whiskey is good on occassion but I'm not big on foofoo drinks either. I just haven't found a martini that I really like...until now.

Hubby took me out to dinner last Friday where a martini being served at another table caught my eye. It turned out to be an Espresso Martini. It looked so good that I ordered one for dessert. I'm glad I did. It was the best martini I've ever had.

It was so good that we wanted to re-create it. So, we went to the store to gather the ingredients: vanilla vodka, Kahlua, espresso simple syrup, and half-and-half cream. We were successful with everything but the espresso syrup. So, I came home and made some. I put a half cup of water into a small sauce pan, heated it, added about two teaspoons of espresso powder and stirred until it was disolved. Next, I added one cup of sugar and stirred until it was disolved. I poured the syrup into a jar to cool.

Later, I poured the following into a shaker of ice:

1 ounce vanilla vodka (we used Stoli Vanil...It's very good)
2 ounces Kahlua
1 ounce of half-and-half
1/2 to 3/4 ounce of espresso syrup - We tried about 3/4 ounce in one drink and 1/2 ounce in another and they were both good. So, add what tastes best. It can be left out but it will have a stronger alcohol flavor.

I shook it a few seconds to chill it and strained it into a glass. It looked fabulous...

And, it tasted even better! Yum!!!

These are so good they're hard to just sip!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lil' Hummers Update

I'm happy to report that the little hummgingbirds I blogged about last week are doing great! Their little nest stayed where I put it, a little tilted, but fine. By the weekend they had grown and changed and were blinking their little eyes and looking at me when I checked on them...

They started venturing out today. Must be nice to get out of that cramped little nest. They're so cute with their little beaks crossed...

This afternoon they started venturing out even further. I bet they'll be trying out their wings very soon.

I wonder how hummingbirds learn to fly?! Most birds can at least spread their wings and glide a little while they figure out the whole flapping thing. This seems a bit more challening. Good luck little ones!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It's so much fun to make a little project that uses stash yarn and can be whipped up in no time. That's just what these are. They're shower poofs.

I saw one a few weeks ago that someone in a local stitch group had made. I instantly knew it was a pattern I had to find and make. The pattern calls for a two ounce ball of worsted weight cotton yarn and a size "I" hook. Even though the pattern says it only needs two ounces, it wasn't enough in either of two brands that I used. I had to modify the pattern to make it work with the two ounces. I actually like my version better. The poof is rufflier, tighter and holds it's shape better. I think that will make it more usable and nicer to use.

The changes I made are as follows...Start out with chaining 8 instead of 10. I did 36 loops in that ring instead of 40. I made the hanging loop with 25 chains instead of 30. On the final row, I started the top of each loop section with a slip stitch in the first chain space, chain one, *sc, ch 2 in each chain space across to the next to last chain space in the loop section, sc, chain one, slip stitch in the last chain space and I’d leave out chains between the loop sections and repeat that sequence to the end of all the loop sections.

The purple and green one is Sugar N Cream in the color "Country Side". The cream, red, green and bluish/purple one is Peaches & Cream in the color "Floral Fantasy". I'm anxious to give one a try. And, I'm excited to make more...they're a lot of fun, a great stash buster, and they would make a great gift in a basket with some body wash, soap and other nice bath accessories.

Feathered Friend

Pigeons may be cute at the park but NOT in the neighborhood. They're destructive and messy. We haven't found a way to make them go away and we've had to do a lot of things to prevent damage and clean up their messes.

Luckily, there's another kind of bird that's willing and able to help. Hawks! They've been very busy the past few weeks as evidenced by feathers in various yards where they have feasted. A hawk chose our yard to dine in yesterday.

We were just about to open the front door and go to the store when we noticed what was happening. We watched for a while and then tried to sneak out the back and around the side of the house as not to disturb it's meal.

Click on the picture to see it larger. We were amazed at the hawks long legs and thought it's fluffy striped "pants" were really cute. :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise and warm cloudy weather. It was a perfect morning to spend in my garden clipping old roses off so they can keep on blooming. And, that's just what I did. One of my rose bushes has been very ambitious this year and had stems that had grown to seven or eight feet high, at least. I clipped and dropped them into a pile, carried them over to the trash can, dropped them on the ground, started clipping them into pieces and throwing them away. Uh oh...I noticed a little nest on one of the long stems. It had white on it like spider webs. Was it from a spider or bug? Nope. I noticed a tiny little gray thing hanging out of it but it wasn't moving. I gently touched it with my clippers (to avoid getting human scent on it). It was soft and seemed to be alive. Ooops! I'd cut a stem that had a hummingbird nest attached to it with two tiny babies inside.

I clipped the stem to about a foot long and carried it back to the rose bush to figure out what to do. I propped it in between some other stems and the thorns helped to hold it in place. I later propped a stem of rose leaves above them to give them shade. They're so tiny and cute!

I kept an eye out to see if the mommy would find them. Sure enough...she did! Whew!

She quickly got back to feeding and carrying for her little children.

I'm so glad I noticed them before I tossed that stem into the trash! What a wild ride that must have been for them. I wonder if mom was watching me the whole time, worrying about her babies. So far, they seem to be doing okay. They have feathers on their wings and I bet they'll soon be ready to fly.