Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Hat of the Year

This is the last hat I knit in 2009. All in all, I knit 43 hats this year and donated 37 of them to different charities. I love knitting hats, especially rolled brim hats. I don't have to think much when knitting them. I can watch TV and mindlessly repeat the same stitch over and over. It is like doing something while I am doing nothing. Many more of these hats will fly off of my needles in the months to come.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too Much Help

I was putting away the Christmas ornaments and I cleared a space to slide the box back into the closet. Before I could get the box into the space, my help came to make sure the space was perfect. It was. I just had to wait until she was finished using the space so I could use it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Decorating Tips From Texas

Here is another interesting Christmas decoration. It makes one ask several different questions. Did the stores sell out of the manger scene characters? Was this a playhouse for the children of the house? Did the Grinch come and take the characters and plans to bring them back later? It is something to think about.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Merry


I love the spelling of my name. When I was little I didn't like my name. There were usually several Marys also in my class and I was always known as Merry S. to distinguish between us. I would wish my name was Melissa. Why that name? Who knows. Now that I am older, I love my name and I run into very few Marys. I wonder where they all went. I haven't run into any Merrys yet, but I know they are out there...somewhere.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chirstmas in Texas

We spent Christmas in Texas with Mom and Cathy. One of the fun things about writing this blog is that people will let me know about great photo opportunities. Cathy told me about this great tree someone had set up on top of a dirt mound. Not only did they put the tree there to turn the mound into something interesting and wonderful, but they went to the trouble to decorate it to turn it into something memorable.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trade Off


I have a good friend Amy who is a whiz on the sewing machine. I would love to be able to sew. Unfortunately after taking sewing classes twice, I have come to the conclusion that the sewing machine and I are not friends. The top looks wonderful, but the bottom is full of knots. Anyway, Amy and I have agreed to a trade. I had some stamps she was interested in and she wanted me to knit her a scarf. I wanted some fun project bags for my knitting. This is the scarf I knit for her with the yarn she chose from my stash. I can't wait to get my bags. The material I choose out of her stash was adorable.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hurricane Hat



I knit this hat for a friend of Robyn's. I love the pattern. It is a simple hat, but it has a cool stitch change that creates the spiral from bottom to top. I will be making this pattern again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

An Update on Leonard's Lemons


The lemons have been harvested. It took a lot longer than we thought it would. Way back in May when I first posted about them, I hoped they would turn out great. They did. Phillip had so much fun making lemonade out of his lemons.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fall Color



Fall comes late down here. Our area has mostly pine trees, so we don't get to see too much in the way of leaves changing color. We have 2 Bradford pear trees by the driveway and I was noticing this morning how beautiful the leaves were. I would love someday to travel up to the northeast to see the leaves change. I must put that on my list of things to do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Owl Pellet



Fun times her at our house. Robyn came home from school very excited right before Thanksgiving. Everyone in her Bio II class was given an owl pellet to dissect. She vividly remembers her teacher doing this with the class in Kindergarten and she was eager to do it herself. The owl pellet contained the skeleton of a rat. Hers was an extra special pellet because it had 2 skulls. Can you see why she was so thrilled? Then can you explain it to me? Anyway, a friend came over and they traded bones in order to get the most complete skeleton. Last night she put him together and added some felt ears to the top of his head. Of course, she forgot him on the dining room table, so I ran him up to school. I wonder if anyone in the office was a little curious as to what was inside the box and looked inside?

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Married Mr. Whipple



Phillip has always had a heavy beard. In the thousands of years I have been married to him, I have never seen him with a beard or mustache. I have seen an old picture BM (before Merry he calls it) of him with the stash. The girls and I talked him into growing one again. He had it for a week before he shaved it off. He was so worried about it. He asked me every day before going to work if I thought it was running clients off. All I could think of was how much he looked like Mr. Whipple, but I did tell him I didn't think it would make his clients head for the hills.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Montana Scarf



Another knitted gift. Another scarf. It is what I do.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flirty Scarf



I have been helping Robyn knit some of the gifts she wants to give for Christmas. Scarves have been flying off of the needles lately and this is a great one. I love the stitch pattern. It was easy to remember and one I could do while watching TV (always a plus). If you are a member of Ravelry, the pattern is "Flirty Scarf".

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow



Everyone was so excited about the possibility of snow. We get snow so rarely down here, but it will happen on occasionally. It happened. Snow! Snow today was especially meaningful to us today. Last year it snowed the morning after Jonathan was buried. So many of us thought it was God's way of helping us to feel some happiness during our mourning. It did. Today was the anniversary of Jon's death and it snowed again. Not as much as last year, but it still counted as snow. Again, it was seen as a something to help us with the pain. Since 1850, snow had fallen in "measurable amounts" rather than traces in the city just 18 times, according to the National Weather Service. This one was the earliest recorded snowfall.

Sometimes little miracles are brought into our lives. To me, this was one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It Takes So Little To Make Her Happy


If you saw a van going down the street in the rain with a yellow dog's head sticking out of the window, it was me. I needed to run a quick errand and I took my car pal with me. It is cold degrees (45) outside and raining. And of course the window was down so Skittles could look out. She would stick her head out for a while and then bring it in to shake. Right back out the window she would go since car rides are always better with your head out. I don't mind. It is just water and it makes us both happy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Skittles

video

I just love this girl!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Enough. With. The. Hats. Already!

I was able to complete one last hat last night for Children's Hospital patients. Another gaping hole in my hat series is a black and gold hat in honor of the Saints. This whole place is going nuts over the Saints being 9-0. Who would have ever thought the Saints could be doing so well. It is mind boggling to me.

Can you see the tell tale signs we have a cat in the house?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Did I Hear You Correctly? More hats?


Robyn and Michael are taking hats over to Children's Hospital for me after Thanksgiving. I decided to crank out a couple more before they go. You know I love my LSU Tigers. When I was growing up and first moved to Louisiana, the thought of purple and gold together was hideous. Now that I am older and wiser, purple and gold hold a piece of my heart. I had not knitted a hat with these colors together yet, so I had to rectify that omission. I love the thought of a child somewhere rooting on the Tigers wearing this hat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Infinity and Beyond


I probably have never mentioned how much I love Ravelry (only if you don't listen to me when I talk). I can spend hours looking at knitting patterns and reading the message boards. One of the hot topics lately is about an Infinity Scarf. Supposedly, it is one of the "in" accessories this fall/winter. I rarely know anything about being "in", but this scarf caught my interest. It is a wide, long scarf that is knit in a tube width wise. You can wear it long and hanging, twist it twice and wear it cozily against your neck, or wrap it once around your neck and pull the rest up over your head like a hood. I like this idea of a multifunctional scarf, so I made one...as a gift. It was fun to knit, but I did get tired of dragging all those stitches (250) around the circular needle. When I blocked it, the pattern started to look even better. I plan to make another one, but this time I want to knit it flat and try my hand at a provisional cast-on. Then I can stitch the two ends together without a seam.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Hats for Donate


Robyn and Michael are going to Children's Hospital right after Thanksgiving to drop off the animals she has knitted and the hats I have made. I have been focusing on adult sized hats, so I am switching back to a slightly smaller "teen" size. I found the multi colored yarn in Lafayette when we went over there to look at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I could not pass it up. It was fun. I have it in a solid pink too. A little goes a long way, so I will have a lot to spread around.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It Was a Winner the First Time Around


I made another Super Fast, Ultra-Cozy Scarf. It was a good to do since the pattern is mindless and I was watching the Yankees loose. I was very distracted by the game, but I was able to keep the pattern going.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Scarf from Me


I have been enjoying being able to watch the series and knit too. It is the best of 2 worlds for me. This pattern is so easy, looks great and is reversable. It is called One Row Handspun Scarf by the Yarn Harlot. If you have not read the Yarn Harlot's blog, you should check it out. Her blog is fun to read and she is very funny.

P.S. The Yanks win!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Knittin


I have been knitting scarves to send to troops in Afghanistan. Instead of the same old boring garter stitch scarf, I wanted to try some new stitch patterns. The pattern is called Super Fast, Ultra-Cozy Scarf. I really like this one and it knit up fast. In one day! The yarn was Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick.


I watched the World Series and knit. Now if the Yankees had won the game I would have been completely happy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Costumes

Phillip has a friend who has a blow out Halloween party each year. He and his wife go all out and have an amazing party. This year Robyn had to work, so Cara brought a friend. They dressed up as characters from one of their favorite manga series. Phillip went as an LSU fan. I wish I had gotten a picture showing his LSU socks. They really made the outfit. The party was great and tons of people showed up. It was another excellent event.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prayer Squares


Another group I have been knitting for is one who gives small, knitted squares to people undergoing chemotherapy. They are called prayer squares. The group who offers these squares, take the knitted squares and sew a small charm (angel, cross, etc.) on them and attach a written prayer. Hopefully the squares will provide comfort to the patients while they have their treatment. Squares are easy to knit and can be made up quickly. It is an excellent way to use of bits of leftover yarn too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scarves for "Handmade Especially for You"



One of the charities I have been knitting for is "Handmade Especially for You". They provide scarves for abused women. The only request is that the scarves be colorful. I think these 3 scarves will fit that request. Two are just regular old garter stitch and the multicolor one is done in a drop stitch pattern. The drop stitch was a new stitch for me and I will work that one into another pattern down the road. It has an interesting look.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Fine Art of Compromise


Cara wants a corset. Now every preteen girl needs a corset, right? No. I am not sure where the corset thing comes from, but I tried to think of something that could fill the corset square so to speak. I came up with the idea of wrist warmers that lace like a corset. She was thrilled with the idea. She picked the colors and decided on the length (somewhat). They were easy to make and it made her happy. That's what counts anyway.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Checking Out Schools


Today we took a drive over to Lafayette to check out the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for Robyn. It would be a good option because she would be fairly close by in case we needed to run over to see her. Driving into town we stopped at a light. When we looked to our left, we were all very excited to see the Lesspay Motel. It reminds me a bit of the Bates Motel. I am not quite sure if we will ever stay there should Robyn decide to go to school here, but it is good to know of a place to stay.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Handmade Nation


One of my good friends, Cindy, asked me to go to see the viewing of the movie "Handmade Nation". It is a movie about artisans who create handmade items. It is a wonderful movie and one I would recommend to anyone. Before and after the show, members of the New Orleans Craft Mafia and other artisans sold wonderful handmade creations. It was incredibly hard to not buy one of everything I saw. Every where I looked, I wanted one of those and one of those too. Three members of our group, Handmade Louisiana, had tables at the event, Mallory of MissMalaprop, Ze of Knitzy and Liz of New Orleans Umbrella Company. All three ladies have wonderful items and I hope they did very well tonight.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Knitting for Others

One of my favorite message boards to read on Ravelry is called Charity Knitting. They have all sort of interesting groups who could use knitted items. One caught my eye. It was for knitted...how should I say...boobs for women who have had mastectomies. Breast cancer runs in my family and is something that is always in the back of my mind. I thought it would be interesting to knit a boob to donate. The pattern is called "Tit Bit". I have to say it was an interesting project. It was fun to ask the kids if they had seen my boob (getting disgusting looks from them in return). I don't know if I will make any more of these, but it was fun to make one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Family Reunion

Several days ago, Cara came to me and asked if she could have a family reunion. I was not quite sure what family she was talking about. Was she wanting to invite those who live out of town in for a visit? Or was she just wanting our immediate family to spend some time together? The answer was neither. Her best friend is moving in a couple of weeks. Cara planned to invite the "group" from last year over as a surprise get together for Tessa. Cara and Tessa don't see the rest of the group this year as they all go to another school. It was a great idea. Everyone was able to make it and Tessa was surprised. They made ice cream sundaes, ate pizza, and played the Wii. How can you beat that?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Needles(s) To Say They Turned Out Ok

Cara's best friend is moving and I wanted to make her something that would be meaningful to her. She is also an avid knitter and I had been reading on the Ravelry about making knitting needles out of dowels. I thought I would give it a shot. It was easier than I thought it would be. Tessa likes to knit on larger needles, so I found some oak dowels that would come out to be size 10 needles. I got a kick out of the looks I got in Lowe's when I was using my trusty needle sizer thingy to check the dowel sizes. I cut the dowels down to size and used a knife to make the point on each needle. After sanding them with several grades of sandpaper, they were ready for the party. I wanted the "family" to sign them tomorrow.

Written 9-12: The needles were a hit, I think. I had the kids sign them using Sharpies. I was bummed when the ink smeared on them, but they are still readable. I used a candle wax to seal the wood a bit and to put one last smooth finish on them before gluing on the end caps. I forgot to take a picture of them prior to the party, so this picture is the "after" shot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shortbread Cookies


On my other blog, Cheese and Chocolate, I do a weekly recipe post about a recipe I want to make. Last week's recipe was for shortbread cookies. My grandmother used to make "tea cakes". I wish I knew the recipe. All I remember was the cookies were good. They were similar to shortbread cookies, so I gave a shortbread recipe a try. They were good, but used 2 sticks of butter for 20 cookies. Yikes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day


Robyn and Cara had a few friends over to spend the day. Cara and Tessa were holed up working on the computer. Robyn, Shelby and Andrew spent the day watching videos. I think today was a celebration of non-labor.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And Stitch Markers


Since I have a bit of a knitting obsession going on right now, I thought it would be fun to create some more stitch markers. I have made a couple of pair and I love using them while I knit. I love to see the little sparklies in the knitting.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Earrings

Lately I have been having a creative block. I finally decided that if I pulled out some of by beads and findings, I could not put it away without making something. It was just the push I needed. I bought short strand of these beads in black and white. I used a couple, but wanted to make something else with them. The result, is the Tumbling Dice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cupcake!

For a year of so, I have been wanting to learn how to crochet so I could make amigurumi. Most of the patterns are for crochet and I love how cute they are. I found a pattern for a cupcake and luckily it was knitted. There are several knitting patterns actually. It was fun to decide whether to make white cake or chocolate cake and to go through my stash to find a yarn for icing. What was not that fun was the major increasing of stitches on the DPNs that needed to be done for the pattern. I do better with decreasing. I would love to give the "magic loop" a try. I watch the videos online for it, but none show beginning with so few stitches. I just can't visualize it in my head. I like how it turned out tho...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fluff

Here is my latest hat completion. I do like working on hats. This hat is in one of my favorite colors. I love this color and have several skeins in various shades. The addition of the eyelash makes the hat very soft. It is now in the box waiting for donation.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Everybody Wants to Be a Cat


Oh to be Whiskers... I wish. I am posted about this nutty girl before. Sometimes when I don't see her for a while, I go on a hunt for her. Often I can find her closed up in one of the girls' rooms. She sneaks in when no one sees her. We call her teleportation cat or TP for short. They are convinced that she was not in the room when they closed the door. Today when I went on my TP hunt, I found her on Cara's bed completely relaxed. As stated many times...I want to be a cat.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Geting an AC Overhaul

The AC guys came out and replaced our system in the attic and one of the units. I cannot imagine how they can work in that heat. I know the attic is an oven. I made a comment about the heat to one of the guys. He just smiled and said they were used to it. Can you get used to heat like that?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where's the Kitty...You Can't See Her


She was hiding. I washed Robyn prayer shawl in a big plastic container. I left it out a couple of days to let it dry before putting it away. It doesn't help if the washing container has mold growing in it. Apparently the container makes a great hiding place. Whiskers had a great time, sitting inside and watching everyone walk by. Sometimes she would jump out at us and we would pretend we didn't see her in there. Her favorite victim was Pretty. Pretty didn't pretend like we did and let her sister know that this jumping out was not appreciated. I think Whiskers was on the lookout for Pretty in this picture and was unaware that her prey was nearer than she thought.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prayer Shawl


I have been working on a prayer shawl for Robyn's birthday. She wanted some numbers used within the shawl to reflect meaningful numbers in her life. I played around and frogged it a bunch before I finally came up with a pattern I liked. She was happy with it and the knitting part is now done. I am in the process of blocking it. I have never blocked before, so we will see how that goes. Hopefully it will go OK.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One of Life's Greatest Pleasures


I have been anticipating this morning for a couple of days. Today I finished a jar of peanut butter. Peanut butter is a source of joy around here in puppyville. I cut the jar in half and give one to each of the babies. Heaven. Jasmine delicately and slowly licks her half clean. I can't get a picture of her because she stops every time I come close. Maybe she thinks I will want some. She is a good
"sharer". Skittles on the other hand eats hers as fast as she can because you might want some and she is not much on sharing food. Anything else? Sure thing, but never food. When I came to take a picture, she would not look up no matter how much I tried to get her attention.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Assistant Blog Author


Often when I am on the computer, Skittles will come in and lie near me. You never know what position she will be in. I sometimes talk to her as I write the blog, getting her input on various ideas or working. I am grateful for her help. Without her I would not be able to accomplish many things.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yes, She Does Still Have Hair Left


One of the joys of having a white pet is the lovely white hair you will find on every thing. No matter how much you brush, there is always more to spread all over. Cara loves to carry Whiskers around and you can see the tell tale signs of that deed all over her clothes. Standing outside waiting with her for the school bus...shirt covered in cat hair. Getting out of the car for dance...leotard covered in cat hair. Coming to tell me good night...pajamas covered in cat hair. Check, check and check. It is hard to believe Whiskers has any hair left since Cara wears so much of it...trust me...she still has plenty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Labs Are Vital to Me


Today Robyn and I were running around picking up school supplies. As we drove through the Wal-Mart parking lot (after trying to find the elusive page protectors cheaper than Office Depot), we came up on this truck. I asked Robyn to pull over so I could get a quick picture. She thought I was nuts. All I really saw were the words "Labs Are Vital". I didn't really pay much attention to the rest of the words. Those 3 words are meaningful to me. My Skittles is a lab mix and she is very vital to my happiness. We spend a lot of time together during the day and I cannot imagine a day without her sweet presence. After explaining what I saw to Robyn, she agreed with the sentiment. Our fur babies are a vital part of our lives.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What the Cat Drug In...


We came home this afternoon and was greeted with this sight. Pretty has been knitting AGAIN. The yarn ran from Robyn's room, through the kitchen and into the dining room. It seems like under the dining room table is her favorite knitting spot. Sometimes you will find a single thread of yarn passing through and other times I will find several whole skeins under the table. What is it with Pretty and the yarn?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top Dog


Being a Senior brings some new activities. One is called Top Dog/Little Dog. The Seniors adopt a Freshman homeroom and do little things for them during the year. There are also other activities they can participate in individually too. Robyn and Shelby spent the afternoon putting together goodie bags for their chosen homeroom. I guess going to school is like a party and you get a goodie bag.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What? No Posts?

When I started this blog in February, my intent was to post a picture taken each day. It is not easy to attempt to come up with interesting photos of what happens with us each day. We are not all that interesting. At times, it stresses me to try to think of something...anything. Hence the frequent knitting and fruit tree posts. It got to the point that I stopped posting at all since there was nothing intersting going on. Why do we let little things like this bother us? No one is putting this pressure on me, but me. So I had a little talk with myself and decided it is ok not to post every day. I will when I can, but life as we know it goes on if a post does not appear. There...I feel so much better.