Sunday, February 28, 2010

Calico Doe

Originally uploaded by paulaniz67
Doe - a deer, a female deer
Ray- a drop of golden sun

These are two of my favorite things that have visited our little neck of the woods in recent days. Deer and sunshine. Deer visit a lot, but it's early spring in the Pacific Northwest and the sun is not seen that often generally. The last couple of weeks have changed that and the sun has been a regular visitor, softly shining on our flower beds and waking up the daffodils and rhododendrums. Ah, the life...

The deer are a regular part of our neighborhood, but when spring grasses start to grow and the earth is coming alive, our little herd moves around more, visiting us with a regular schedule that rivals the postman. This sweet little doe was born right here on the south slope two years ago and is my favorite. She's so sweet and still very small. Makes me smile just to catch a glimpse of her.

May you be blessed with some early spring sunshine and beautiful wildlife to encounter...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Story Time Stitches


Get out your storybooks - it's time for Story Time Stitches!

The illustrations in so many childrens storybooks are super fantastic. I'm always drooling, wanting to jump through the pages and spend some time in one cozy cottage or another and sometimes even a cave or two, depending on the story. Several of the books that I have read time and time again to my kids and now to my grandbabies have the best ever illustrations with really cute things that I have often thought about trying to duplicate. For instance, I have a version of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit that shows Mrs. Rabbit wearing a great white apron with green trim that I always look at and think, "I should make myself a Mrs. Rabbit's apron." And then I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to host a blog event where others would join me in making things straight out of the pages of their favorite children's books?", so Story Time Stitches was born.

I'm really hoping that a few of you will decide to join me. You can make whatever you want, as long as it is inspired by the pages of a chilren's storybook. Sewn, crocheted, knitted, drawn, painted, baked....whatever your heart desires. Below I've listed a few ideas, just some things that I've come up with but the possibilities are endless~

  • Beatrix Potter - aprons, scarves, mittens, shawls, doilies, cammomile tea. Peter's little jacket with brass buttons..
  • Jan Brett - OH! Here are so many many idea's. Hats, mittens, trolls, oh my!
  • The Little Red Hen - A loaf of bread
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy stories - aprons, dolls, stuffed toys
  • Where the Wild Things Are - stuffed monsters

You get the idea. I could go on and on and on.....

If you would like to join in the fun of Story Time Stitches, please let me know and I will put link's in the sidebar so that we can all visit and see each others fun projects. Our time frame will be the entire month of March and at the end of the month I will be putting all the names of the participants in a hat and someone will get a fun prize from me that will most certainly include a wonderfully illustrated children's book.

Happy reading and stitching!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kitchen Scratch

The best cornbread that you've ever eaten can be found over at Kitchen Scratch. Well, at least the recipe, that is, you're going to have to make the cornbread yourself. Once you make this scrumptious bread you will never again use another recipe for cornbread. Really. It's that good. Too.Die.For.

Alli is a new co-worker and blogging friend of mine. When I first met her, I knew that I really liked her and that she would do a fantastic job for us, but little did I know just how much we would have in common. She is MUCH younger than I am, but a country girl who loves to be in the kitchen as much as she loves to be outside. She is a fairly new blogger and has a brand new etsy shop as well. Please pop over, say hi to Alli, welcome her to this bloggy world and do yourself a favor and make her cornbread. You'll love it. I promise.

You'll also find a recipe for Mustang Cake at Kitchen Scratch. It's moist and delicious, made with coffee. Yummy!

Lucky Ticket Holders

The wild magic carpet ride of One World One Heart giveaway is over and what a fun fun ride it was. I had such a great time visiting so many exciting blogs that I never would have found otherwise and I only made it to a small portion of the participants. I imagine there was so many beautiful blogs out there that I missed and can't wait to participate again next year. 170 COMMENTS on my giveaway post. I am absolutely blown away and want to thank everyone who visited me on your ride around the world. What fun it was!

And now, drum roll please - The winner of my Gnome Greeting Cards is the fabulous Gina of Threads of a Tatting Goddess. Gina does the most beautiful tatting work and so delicate. I can't even imagine making something with that small of stitches and so absolutely gorgeous.

Barney the Gnome wanted to travel, which is why he choose to participate as the prize in this giveaway, and he sure got his wish. Barney will be traveling, by post not magic carpet, to LONDON to live with the very talented Sarah of Circles of Rain. I think that Barney is less nervous of embarking on his new adventure now that he knows that he is going from "On a Rainy Night" to "Circles of Rain". Just makes him feel more comfortable and at home. I'm pretty sure that there are some English Gnomes that he will have a grand time meeting as well. Adios Barney - We'll miss you here in Oregon and wish you well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm so excited. Can hardly wait for the Olympics to start tonight. The winter games are my favorites and I'm anticipating such excitement. Snowboarding, luge, figure skating....Wa-hoo! I'm also ready with a "Ravolymipics" project to cast on just as soon as the games begin. Knit away, my friends!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Put On Your Mittens, You Silly Kittens

You may remember my Maid Marion Reading Mitts from a post this past fall. I knit them for my first ever knit-a-long on Ravelry and the theme was Robin Hood. The colors of the yarn I choose are some of my very favorites, reflecting beautiful fall colors. I wear these fingerless mittens all the time and get many comments on them from people. I love the lacy feminine pattern and how they knit up so quickly, so decided that these would make great gifts for some of the girls in my life. A couple of the pairs you'll see below I actually knit up several months ago but couldn't show them here yet because, well, I'm a slacker and hadn't sent them to their new homes yet.

Brittany's Blueberry Hill mitts were just finished Thursday evening. They are made from a fabulous blend that has a thin silk in a darker blue woven through. The yarn was a bear to untangle and wind into a workable ball, the worst I've ever seen, but the end product was worth all the frustration. I really love the color. Brittany hasn't seen them yet, I have to pop them in an envelope and send them to Wyoming, but I really think she's going to like them. This mitts aren't a birthday or Christmas gift but just because and she knows that I was making them for her. They'll be on their way to you next week, B. Really, they will. Don't look at me like that!

My sister, Stacey, received a pair of blogging mitts for Christmas. Well, okay, really a month after Christmas but my intentions were good... I thought that in those cold cold North Dakota winters, Stacey might be wanting some hand warmers to wear while she's playing on her computer or reading.

This pair was made for my niece, Dawn, for her birthday. The colors of the yarn reminded me of her, all purple and hip. Perfect for reading, writing and 'rithmatic.

And that, my friends, concludes my Reading Mitt madness. As much as I love this pattern and the beautiful end product, it's time to move on. Next project for my needles hasn't been decided yet. I'm sure it will be something fantastic...

Up my sleeve, for the month of March I think, is a project that I'm calling Storytime Stitches. I'm hoping that some of you, or all of you, will participate with me by making a project inspired by illustrations in your favorite storybook. These projects will be knit, crocheted, sewn or maybe even baked. Whatever your heart desires. More to come soon....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Turn the Page Tuesday - The Good Good Pig

'Christopher Hogwood came home on my lap in a shoebox.
On a rain-drenched April evening, so cold the frogs were silent, so gray we could hardly see our barn, my husband drove our rusting Subaru over mud roads sodden with melted snow. Pig manure caked on our boots. The smell of a sick animal hung heavy in our clothes.'
-Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig

It's time once again for Turn the Page Tuesday, hosted by Adrienne at Some of a Kind. Pop over to participate and/or see what everyone else is reading.

My choice this month is The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery. Sy is a naturalist who has spent months in the jungles, alone with only wild creatures for company. In this book, she talks about the fact that she always has felt more comfortable with animals than with people, so her life work came very naturally for her.
Sy and her husband meet Christopher Hogwood for the first time at a farm of some friends who raise pigs. Christopher is the runt of the litter and barely surviving, so Sy and Howard bring him home, hoping to give him a chance but barely expecting that he will actually live until morning. They are vegetarians, so if Chris makes it, he will live a long and full life as an eccentric pet in the Montgomery's barn.
Chris does make it, eventually becoming a very big pig, and this story is so full of the love and delight that not only Sy and Howard find in this dear pig, but how he charms the entire town, healing the hearts of many people he comes in contact with. George, the owner of the pig farm where Chris was born, puts it perfectly. "That pig has done well for himself."

The Good Good Pig is a wonderful book, I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I grew up on a farm and come from a huge hunting and fishing family. There is quite a lot of naturalist and vegetarian talk in this book, which is fine, because that's who the author is and it is her words, not mine. I raised pigs as my FFA project while I was in high school and can tell you that, like this book says, yes, they are very intelligent and full of personality. It was quite the fun read.

Thanks, Adrienne, for hosting Turn the Page Tuesday once again!