Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday, Monday ...

Yesterday, I was, believe it or not, shocked into awareness by my kiddos that next week is Easter!!  (And here I was, thinking that it's still February, darn the weather!)  So, we have baskets and plastic eggs to locate and ready for the upcoming weekend ... I am thankful to be spending Easter with family and we're having dinner at my Mom's house.  The kids did a little happy dance hearing this and Bennie announced, "Grandma Marcia makes the best Easter dinner and I call sitting next to my best buddy Papa!"  (Funny, all Foxie was interested in was what kind of pie we were having!  Ahh, the worries of a 12 year old boy!)

I am happy to report that I have completed the body of my yarn bag! I am just finishing up the scalloped edging, then will be crocheting up the straps - which should take me no time!! Then it'll be sewing the straps on and creating some little hooky flowers to pretty it up!! 

the finishing touch - scalloped edging ;)

I'm super happy with how this has turned out so far!

I never knew how easy it was to create scalloped edging ...
7 DC's, skip 2, slip stitch, skip 2, 7 DC's - repeat!   


And then .....?
Will it be working with those 27 luscious colors to create my Hex Blanket? 
Or ... the Circles in Squares throw?
Or ... work a bit more on my octo-blanket? 
Or ... do as my Mom just did and purchase more yarn to create a Granny Stripe throw? 
Or ... more yarn shopping to create a Ripple Blanket??
Oh, there are just too many beautiful projects that I want to work on! 
My goodness, decisions, decisions!! hahaha
Whichever I decide upon, I promise to share!

Well, my dears, I am going to turn on the music (quite loud) and get onto some hooky goodness!
be happy & let's all think SUNSHINE!!
~ xoxoxo


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

Isn't it wonderful just saying that?!  My kiddos were super excited this morning, singing Happy Spring and dancing about in their jammies; then we went outside to await the bus - BRRR!  25 degrees F! (-4 Celsius)  It was almost enough to dampen our spirits, but the bird song was cheerful and all around us! 
Millie shouted up at the sky, "Even the birds know it's Spring!  Please warm up the Earth, Mother Nature!" 
Which prompted Ben to ask, "Mommy ... If I send a letter to Santa, do you think he will tell Mother Nature and maybe mention to God to give us the real Spring weather?"
"Why send it to Santa?  Why not just say a prayer directly to God in Heaven?" I asked. 
"Well, Mama, He is busy preparing for Easter!"  Never mess with a child's solid logic!  (I so love my boy! xoxo)

Foxie and I hung up and filled three bird feeders over the weekend and have placed them on a few Shepard's hooks near the kitchen windows ... it took a bit of time for the birds to discover the treats, but now we have loads of visitors!  I saw a Cardinal Couple (as I like to refer to them, as there was a male & female), which are my favorite birds; lots of chic-a-dee's and finches; and a blue bird!   
Gus has discovered the birds in the back yard!

Tully, stalking the birds in the feeder!

I have a feeling this is the kitties new favorite place!
On Monday, I began a new scarf (I know, it's Spring!  Why make another scarf?!) for a dear friend of mine.  I had previously made a frou-frou one for her, but then I found this super soft bulky yarn at Joann's and it screamed, buy me!  So, I did and whipped up this little scarf ... it only took a few hours and I know it's just perfect for my girlfriend!  (much more suited to her style than ruffles ;) happy b-day!)
this is so super soft & cuddly - I will definitely need to make one for myself!
And my yarn bag, although still unfinished, looks lovely in all it's striped glory ... just a few more rows, then I can make the handles, attach those and create the scalloped edging at the top rim!  Oh!  I need to learn how to make yarn posies too ... best do some more research on how!  (Perhaps the Easter Bunny will bring me a few of my wish list books for Easter?)
only 9 more rows to go!

love the stripey goodness ;)

Well my lovelies, I need to get ready for my hair appointment - perhaps a fresh cut & a bit of color is what I need?  Hmmm . . .
~ be glad and have a happy first day of spring! xoxoxo

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy (day after) St. Patty's Day!

Top o'the mornin to you all!  I was so hoping to post yesterday, but it seems as though we were just too busy doing family things - Our weekend was full of cleaning & tidying, laughing & eating, skiing & playing, and listening to music & creating!

lovely sunshine yellow tulips!
On Saturday, after a bit more spring cleaning (we call it that, but spring seems to not want to make an appearance this year!) and baking gooey-chocolate brownies - my Hubby's request :), the kids located the batteries (I thought I had so cunningly hid!) and powered up the Wii game.  All four of them laughed and played well past the noon hour.  A great diversion for Foxie I might add, as he was becoming increasingly nervous to perform in his school's solo festival.  He played Aria by Mozart on his baritone.  It was marvelous!  We are very, very proud of him!  (Plus my nervousness was well masked with some furious crochet!  I managed to finish the last three scarves for my Aunt Katie - these fingers were quick indeed! haha)
frou-frou scarf #3

coffee & crochet - keeping my nerves for Foxie at bay!
And they're done! 
Frou-frou scarf glory! 
purple, violet, silver, turquoise & burgundy
... just one more look!  I am pleased with these - super fun & easy - I've even taught Millie how!
 Later that evening, we met up with my parents, my mother in law, sister, niece and nephew at our Aunt & Uncle's restaurant, Brew&Brats for some bangers and mash.  It was a very delicious meal and we had a great time listening to an Irish Folk band and watching our kiddos dance!  (Even better - our cousin was engaged that same day - much love is wished to them both!! xoxo)
Bennie was so fast on his feet, that I couldn't get the camera focused! hahaha
Yesterday, the boys were up bright and early and headed to Bristol Mt. to ski - they saw the Easter Bunny on the hill - he skied right past the kids!  Daddy brought them home tired and laden with kettle popcorn, tee shirts, rosy cheeks and tired smiles.  They all elected to lay down after lunch too! 

Around 4 o'clock, we headed up to my parents house for the much anticipated Saint Patrick's Day traditional meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage - delicious!  I can honestly say, one of my most favorite meals - thanks Mama!! 

Feeling much too sleepy after stuffing ourselves, we all snuggled up on the sofa for a bit of TV, then off to bed ... my eyes were so unfocused at times, that I found myself ripping out double stitches, only to mess them up again! 
it is coming along, albeit slowly, but surely!

Today, it is blustery and cold ... I am so ready for Spring and Winter is just stubbornly hanging on!  Ugh ... baking has helped to put a smile on every ones faces, but not on my waistline - haha!!  Well friends, I need to pop the chicken into the oven to roast for a yummy dinner ... hope to report more later!
Stay warm & be happy!
hugs ~ aimee xoxo
 I just love how these little yarn balls look all nestled in their wooden bowl!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A little snow, a little crochet ...

Hello all!  Just a quick update today, as I'm on a "roll" with my hooky goodness!

Last night, I ripped out 12 rows of my yarn bag ... I know, my daughter was distressed too! But, it began to resemble a floppy Moses basket, or funky baby blanket, as opposed to a cute tote bag. So, out came the darning needle and pick, pick, pick ... those finishing knots were freed and all those bright yarn double crochets were pulled out ... (remember back to me stating that crochet is, at times, a cathartic experience? Yup ... I'm sticking to that!)

much too big ... Ollie wanted to cover himself with Mama's circle blanket!

now that's much better!
Thus far today, I've managed to crochet 4+ rows on the side of my bag .... Plus, I've made 2 of the 5 frou-frou scarves for my Aunt Katie ... Progress, while keeping warm inside, listening to the wind blow and watching the little snow flurries continue ... wishing spring was truly here! At least my Ollie babe is having indoor fun building giant wooden train tracks (he is singing "Go, go, Thomas!" So cute in his little voice!)

train fun!

With this my lovelies, I'll be off - have a wonderful day!
~ aimee xoxox

P.S.  Apparently, it's Pie Day (3.14) and my favorite is pumpkin, but my kiddos love apple ... Perhaps I will need to do a bit of baking this afternoon to celebrate? 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring ahead!

My goodness!  I am sorry to have left blog land for so many days, but what a busy 5 days we've had!  Ollie and I were spring cleaning fanatics - even the playroom had the "Mommy Treatment" as my kids put it ... I only wish the spring weather was truly here!  I long to throw open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air! 

Friday was a half day for the kids & we were determined to have fun!  We went to the car wash, (always exciting to 4 kids, no matter what your age!) and since it was bright & sunny, but not very warm, we had a car picnic, next to Canandaigua Lake! 
We then drove to Geneva, NY in search of another yarn shop ... thus far I hadn't been able to find that perfect shade of sunshine yellow for my yarn bag and just had to go shop for some!hehe  The kids love to go for rides in the car, especially since they'd be able to see Seneca Lake - only two streets away from the Yarn Shop.  It was a drive full of laughs and silliness - Foxie played DJ and the other kids were "seat dancing" in time to the music. 
After successfully finding my yarn, we drove next to the lake - the sunshine made the water sparkle - it really made all of us yearn for warm weather!
We shopped a bit then headed home for kids choice dinner night (baked chicken with salt potatoes & greens) and a family movie night with tons of popcorn & sweet tea!  Happy kiddos, snoring hubby and a content Mama (happily crocheting away) all snuggled up together, in the playroom, watching Cats & Dogs - a very fine end to a great Friday!
A major case of the sillies! 
Saturday was the last day for Skiing Brigades at Bristol Mountain, which marked the transition from skiing to tennis for Bruce & Foxie ... they are both sad to see the snow melt, but are excited to be swinging racquets again! 
Bennie was up bright & early with Papa Bill - out for pancakes then off to Papa's barn to do repairs on the big 'ole dump truck! 
Millie & I made tea & toast and drooled over the dresses in Hannah Andersson (she wishes she were small again so she could wear all the dresses!) and after tidying up the dishes, spent a little while re-arranging the shed to get the bicycles out.  While Millie & Ollie were riding bikes in the driveway, I decided that some sweeping & organizing of the garage was desperately needed.  Yet another tick mark on my Spring Cleaning To-Do List!
After lunch, we headed up to Gramma Marcia's house for another yarn party!  We have decided that this is the perfect way to spend Saturday afternoons!  Tea, music, chatter & crochet = perfection!!  My Mom has begun a gorgeous Granny Square Throw, Millie was finishing up a kitchen cloth for her Auntie Melissa and I was busily making a frou-frou scarf for her as well.  (My sister's birthday was Sunday - nothing like waiting for the last minute to finish her gift!!)
Happy Birthday, my dear sis!
On Sunday, we had to set the clocks ahead an hour ("Spring Ahead" and I am sill trying to get used to the time change!) The boys headed down the Naples, NY to have breakfast and a visit with my Mother-In-Law, while I finished up a few last minute errands, before heading back up to my mom's to help get ready for both my brother & sister's birthday dinner.  Of course, with us girls involved, so was crochet! ;)

I am happy to have the bottom of my bag completed, as well as a few side rows ... hopefully I'll have more time to sit and crochet, especially since the weather has, once again, turned chilly & dreary ...

the bottom of my lovely & bright yarn bag!

the beginnings of the side

Have a wonderful day - let's all think Spring and hope for some sunshine!!
~be happy xoxo 

Oh!  I almost forgot!  Foxie took the training wheels off Bennie's bike yesterday and helped him ride without them!  Two smiling, proud boys made for a very happy/weepy Mommy moment .... love these kids sooooo much!
Foxie & Bennie, posing at the starting line ....

Here he goes!

Yahoo!  He's speeding away!

The proud finish!

Ollie, riding about too!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finally, daffodils!

Aren't these just so pretty?!?  Every time I walk into the kitchen I smile - the yellow cheeriness is infectious!  Oh, and the smell ... the hyacinths are so heady!  Just walking past them their incredible fragrance follows you ... yes, I am so pleased!

Couldn't resist another pic, this one with Mr. Easter Bunny ;)

Yesterday was such a busy, wonderful day!  My Mom, Sister, Ollie & I all went shopping!  Our first stop was Trader Joe's (fabulous!!)  I can't say enough wonderful things about it ... that is where I purchased the above beautiful posies (plus a little potted bunch of tete-a-tete daffy's, for my kitchen sill - they are all still green, but I'll surely post a pic when it's blooming!) not to mention loads of delicious produce & groceries.  Ollie even picked out a bag for me to hold my crochet (I wish you could hear him say crochet - it's so cute!)
Afterwards, we had lunch then went searching for yarn shops!  The first one we found wasn't successful ... so out came my iPhone and Google Maps helped us find another, so off we went! 
The Village Yarn Shop in East Rochester was great!  It was loaded with so many beautiful yarns ... the textures and the colors!  After perusing the store, I got busy finding the right "feel" (I wanted a soft wool blend) and Encore, by Plymouth Yarn, fit the bill!  And oh, the CoLoRS!!  I just started pulling skeins down from the wall cubbies and began putting together color families, my goal was at least 16 different colors and I ended up with twenty-seven ... yes, 27!!  I may have squealed a few times with excitement, I'm not sure!  I tried, truly I did, to stick with the intended 16, but the colors beckoned!  Even my Mom & Sis agreed that yes, I did indeed, need all 27.  Making the choice even easier, my Mama was purchasing the yarn goodness for my birthday!!  (Imagine much hopping, clapping, hugging and kissing going on at this point ... even Ollie gave Gramma Marcia a ton of hugs & kisses!)
Looking back, I wonder if the sales ladies thought that we all may be slightly bonkers ... oh, well!  The good news, I have a gorgeous array of colors, so I can begin the Hexie Blanket from Attic24 ....
So, I now have an even bigger list of projects to complete .... the Hexie Blanket, a Yarn Bag, a Circles in Squares throw, a Stained Glass Window throw, Bennie & Millie's blankets, 2 ruffle scarves, several frou-frou scarves & my Octo-blanket ... oh my!  Thankfully for crochet, you can put one thing away for a bit and resume it at another time ... perhaps that's why it suits so many of us?
Ok!  Now onto Monday & the Octo-Blanket -
Remember when I decided to border each octagon in espresso brown?  Well, after several attempts at joining said shapes and I do mean 3 different ways of joining (slip stitch, single crochet & sewing) and hating every style, I realized that the borders were what was making them all look like poo.  So, out come the scissors and snip, snip, snip, the awful task of pulling out stitches progressed ... as you can imagine, I was not happy!  A little hissy fit ensued with an occasional cuss word, but off came the brown borders ... that alone took me almost 1/2 a day.  The more I ripped apart, the more I realized that this whole process of crochet really is cathartic ... it's ok to make mistakes - some you can leave, with an apology - but, you can always pull apart the really big uh-ohs and start again.  (These were the musings rambling about in my brain as I ate a Fig Newton with my cuppa tea) ;)    
After my tea and seeing to the hungry kiddos (they are always ravenous when they get home from school!) they all traipsed outside to play, allowing me to hunker down and make some progress.  I decided on a single crochet to join the octagons & granny's together (I really like the ridged effect it gives) ... I was able to put one panel together - I finished at 10:30pm - I could barely keep my eyes open, but I'm a stubborn one and was determined to complete it!!  Not too bad ... but I am, quite honestly, ready to start something else!  Which, by the way I have .... ;)

so not happy with the brown borders ... grrr
the last one ... 

 beginning the joining ...

one down, ten more to go ... ugh

As you can imagine, my brain is thinking up all the different things I can make with all this beautiful, colorful, yummy yarn ... but, I do realize that the best thing, if I'm going to take a break from the octo-project, is to create the yarn bag!  It will be handy to tote all my yarn goodness and current project around, so that's it then!  The Yarn Bag project mat commence!
I have this lovely Paton's pure wool yarn - in outstanding vibrant colors - the prefect yarn for this! 
After the kiddos were all tucked in (and Bennie's teeth, yes plural, were in the fairy box and tucked beneath his pillow) I poured myself a giant ice water, sat on the sofa, turned on Graham Norton (DVR'd from Saturday) and sorted colors.  When happy, I began hooking away ... this is what I've got so far (not bad, I think for just an hour!)
oooh, bright yarn - makes me smile!  (note the Trader Joe's bag Ollie selected for me!)

the beginning bottom of my bag :)

Well my dears, with this last pic, I'll be off to do some hooking! 
Have a happy day ~  xoxoxo

my daughter, Millie's current crochet project
- kitchen cotton coasters!  so proud of her ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Still no daffodils today . . .

Alas, dear friends, I had no success finding potted daffodils this past weekend, so Mr. Bunny Rabbit will continue on, alone, on the kitchen table ... I am, however, determined to remedy this!! (even if it means purchasing silk ones - gasp!)

the kitchen table at my Mom's ... proving that even silk daffy's are lovely too!

*          *          *
We had a very productive (and fun) weekend!  Friday evening my parents took little Ollie, Bennie, and I to a spaghetti dinner at the Cheshire Fire House (a benefit for the Cheshire Association).  We saw many friends & family members - a great time had by all.  Afterwards, the two boys and I had a movie & popcorn night - Herbie was the movie of choice, allowing me the time needed to crochet dozens of granny squares for my blanket. 
On Saturday, after the morning chores were completed, we headed up to my Mom's (Gramma Marcia's) house.  The boys went off with Papa Bill to see the new baby chicks at the tractor store and then to his workshop. 
Miss Millie and I were happy to join the ladies (my Auntie and cousin joined us) for a cuppa tea, homemade sticky buns, macaroons & molasses cookies - mmmm!  We had music on, chit-chatted and crocheted away, all the while nibbling on yummy goodness and drinking tea - it certainly did become a yarn frenzy!!  I do have to admit to not getting as much done as I had hoped too ... ;)

 Perhaps we should start a hook happy crochet club, ladies?? :)

The afternoon turned late; we put away our crochet, but we weren't quite ready to leave Gramma's so, we decided to cook dinner together.  The kids were super happy!!!  We made a Jamie Oliver favorite, beef & veg stir fry ... it was delicious!
Afterwards, when the washing up was all done & put away, Bruce and Ollie snuggled up on the sofa for a wee nap, Foxie and Papa played Rummy, Bennie drove cars around and around the oriental rug ("Gramma Marcia's rugs make the best road-ways, Mama!", Bennie exclaimed) and Millie, Mom & I sat hooking away in the comfort of her living room.  A very good day!

*            *            *
Yesterday, was a day for catching up ... we all slept in until almost 9 o'clock!!  After coffee & breakfast, the seemingly never ending search for the Easter decorations continued (they are in a "safe place" in the basement ... so safe that I cannot remember where!! haha).  Laundry, homework & tidying up was on the docket ... by the late afternoon, none of us were particularly hungry for a big meal, so we settled upon a carpet picnic of meats & cheeses with apples & grapes - I was so hoping for a glass of wine, but I hadn't any!  (Yet another situation to remedy!! haha)  A fitting end to a great weekend.
*          *          *
this isn't the best pic - a bit blurry, but you get the idea!

 Now, on to crochet!!  I was successful in bordering 12 of my octagons in espresso brown; but failed at joining them ... I tried to join as I go, but it wasn't working out the way I had hoped (I feared not having enough strength in the blanket, as each piece would only be joined at the corners) ... so I tried to join them with a single crochet, which looked terrible!  So, after pulling that apart, I decided to go to bed and just figure it out today.  (I stewed about it for a bit until I decided to just slip stitch it together, then proceeded to be awake for most of the night ... ugh!  Must have been my afternoon coffee with Bruce ...)
Well friends, I'm off to refill my morning coffee and get to slip-stitching!  Have a wonderful day!  The sun is shining here, which kind of makes up for the freezing cold!
~ be happy, xoxoxo

my happy kiddos this morning,
skipping down the driveway

my snowy boggs ...

happy spring chick & gnome on my kitchen sill