Monday, December 29, 2008

Scarves, finally!

Yesterday we celebrated the last day of Hanukkah and the girls got to open the scarves I made. I think they liked them! They were both impressed that I was able to keep them secret when they were constantly bugging me to make scarves for them every time I knitted anything. Hanukkah was definitely a hit with the little ones, they got to play with fire, get eight days of presents, play games and try to speak in a very funny (to them) language. I enjoyed it too, it really had us spending some great, low-key time hanging out as a family during a very hectic time of year. It's a great holiday for giving handmade gifts because they aren't just lost in a flurry of presents!

The oldest wanted to make sure that everyone noticed her new scarf coordinates with her slinky...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry and Bright...

A little peek at why my Christmas was especially merry...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Handmade Holiday Goodness

There were some fantastic handmade gifts under the tree this year... here we are all modeling them in a cheesey Christmas morning picture:

My mom was verrrry busy. She made a scarf for my dad and brother. She knitted super cute mice for the girls and even made me a bat from a pattern I had put in my favorites on Ravelry. Most impressive was the stocking she made for Jay in three weeks!!! We saw the kit in a yarn shop the week of Thanksgiving and I thought she would get it done for next year, but no she is obviously a knitting superwoman. I made Jay the hat, it has been killing me to not post about it for months. It is the Kim's Hat pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, in cashmere. Here's a better look...
And the mice and bat (I have yet to come up with a suitable name...)

Now I must return to my holiday and more of this:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Double Festival of Lights

There's a lot of covert crafting and secret shopping missions going on around here, but we took some time this evening to celebrate the solstice and also the first day of Chanukkah. It was a really nice break from all the craziness! It was a double festival of lights by the time we go done lighting the last of the 21 solstice candles and the menorah. Jay dusted off his hebrew and said the prayers, we had some dreidel action and the girls were thrilled to get to open a present so early. I think we all had fun starting some new traditions this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Bird Friend

I have been meaning to whip up some birds from the Spool pattern that has been all over the place lately for quite some time, but just have not gotten around to it. Much to my surprise, last week Melissa called me and said she was coming by to drop something off and it was one of these lovely little birds. She said she saw the pattern and thought of me, oh it's so nice to be thought of! This little guy made my day. He has moved all around my tree talking to the other bird ornaments, but now he resides on the curly-que ironwork that is the base of my lamp on my desk. Perfect company and a reminder to make him some friends. Thanks Mel!
There is a whole flickr group of these guys here!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ornament Exchange!

We had so much fun participating in the Crafty Crow ornament exchange this year. They divided participants into groups of eight. Our group had kids from Alaska, New York, Florida, Arizona, California, Idaho and Minnesota. I had never joined in an ornament exchange before, so I really had no idea how many different stages of excitement it would hold! There's of course the making of our own onaments to send out:

The ornaments we made:

The packaging:

The great fun of getting mail and ripping into it, then looking at the map to see where each ornament had traveled from.

Getting to see what everyone else made and of course decorating the tree! (the girls have their own tree and they really love pointing out each new ornament and telling where it is from).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My new job can be official squirrel trapper...

...because I have now had quite a bit of experience.

Do not be fooled by this furry little thing's attempt to be cute. They are nefarious, persistent and evil little pests. Obviously there is a story behind my blog suddenly being hijacked by a squirrel. Last week, a very unsuspecting Jay went out to start his car and it would not start. He had not moved his car for ten days after having his wisom teeth out and then having dry sockets and then getting sick, so he thought that maybe the battery was dead. The next day we tried to jump-start it with no luck. So, the car got towed off to find out what the problem was. Yes, squirrels. They had built a nest in his engine and chewed through his wiring. $400 worth of damage. He got the car fixed and all was fine until Saturday. Our neighbor, a slightly paranoid officer of the law and good friend, called Jay to ask if he had seen any suspicious people in his driveway because he thought someone had cut the wires on his truck. Jay assured him that he was not being stalked but had been a target of our evil squirrels while Jay's car was off getting fixed. They met up in the driveway and Jay went to show him what the squirrels had been up to in his own car. When he opened up the hood a squirrel shot out at his head and scampered off, and sure enough the wires had been chewed through. Again. After a lot of squirrel cursing and quite a bit of throwing rocks at the heckling critters, I went off to my uncle's and returned with a squirrel trap. As of this morning I have successfully trapped three squirrels. Much to Jay and my neighbor's dismay, they have all been driven off and released into the wild (well, one was released behind a liquor store on our way to dinner yesterday, but there were trees). It seems like every time I trap one I see about four other squirrels standing around near the trapped one, so this could go on for quite some time. I am determined to greatly reduce the squirrel population around my home, especially since I spent a thousand dollars last spring sealing up the attic and having our phone line rewired. They also started in on my neighbor's other car, so for now the score stands at squirrels: 4 cars (counting Jay's twice) and thousands of dollars worth of damage, humans: 3 squirrels captured and released. I'm afraid the squirrels are way ahead for now.

Did you know that squirrels growl? They do. Quite loudly too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two Presents Done!

Melissa and my Mom came over for another Sunday sewing session this past weekend and I cheated and knitted instead. We are always so productive during these gatherings, my mom finished the project she was working on and Melissa got a lot of this handsome fellow done. I finished up the Christmas/Hannukah scarves for the girls, yay! Of course I couldn't have the girls model them since they are a surprise, and it is waaaaay to cold outside to go find a pretty tree to hang them on, so my back-up model stood in. He was doing quite well until one of the cats came on the scene and sat behind me while I took pics. I can just imagine the heckling that was going on. Look at how he has his eyes narrowed at her in the last picture... don't worry, he was well rewarded with milk bones. I sure hope the girls like their scarves!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Southern Style

Doesn't this look like some kind of ancient turkey torture device? Apparently, after watching way too many episodes of Alton Brown my dad decided this is the way to fry a turkey, can't really argue since the turkey was delicious! I just see it as a sign that craftiness is hiding in everyone, they just have to find an outlet for it.

Nana's Pound Cake... (made by my step-mom):
Pioneer Woman's Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake (made by me!):

We did the usual family gathering and copius amounts of food consumption. However, the main focus of the evening ended up being my cousin's dog, Beaver. I think we all considered abducting him at some point and my mom is still talking about what a great dog he is. I will post some completed craftiness tomorrow if I can get enough light to take good pictures, we had grayness and snow today.