Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April Finishes

The end of April is approaching so I need to get my finished projects posted. First, I completed a prayer shawl for a friend who had surgery yesterday. I love Homespun yarn and the way it looks in this pattern that is free on the Lionbrand website. I've made this shawl a number of times and now need to get some yarn for another!
Jean's Shawl
Another friend celebrated her birthday this past Monday, so I finished this scarf for her, and now I need to get some more Cascade Poof and Fizz to make another one. These are two projects I like to keep in the works because they turn out well and are fun and easy to knit.
Dianne's Scarf
This past Monday our family welcomed the first of the spring babies! Elizabeth Alice arrived at 2 PM in Minnesota, and we hope to see her in person in June. I wonder who'e holding her? Could it be Auntie Leanne? Her sweater and booties are winging their way north, and I sure hope they fit!
Welcome, Libby!
The other package that was sent off East contained my puzzle pieces for Pat Winter's Pieces of Friendship swap. This was a fun and challenging project. I learned a lot too! Now to make two more to swap with my friend Kathy.
Two
Three and Four
Now I need to get busy and work on a couple of quilting projects that have been waiting in the wings for a while. Oh, if only I had another pair of hands!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Natural Colors

It's been a long while since I checked in with Creative Every Day. This month's theme is "Color," and just looking out our window has made me realize how much color is displayed every day in nature and so conveniently. Early last week, we went to our favorite spot at Cannon Beach, Oregon, and Dick took lots of colorful photos.
Color of Sunset
What is it about sunrise and sunset that makes so many lovely colors? If one could only duplicate these colors, which one would you choose? Once I knit a stole in a pretty silk yarn called "Fog". How can anyone create such a color and hope to get it right?
Color of Fog
Have you ever noticed the color of dark? At first your eyes can't take it in, and then, maybe with the help of a camera, you begin to see the colors.
Color of Night
And then there are the colors of God's creatures: flowers in spring, the forest, and all sorts of animals, some that just wander through your yard!Color of Raccoon Fur
Or the sea creatures, some that you can only see at low tide.
Green Sea Anenome
Or even under a rock at low tide.
Orange and Purple Starfish
Then just yesterday, we drove up to LaConner, Washington, to look for tulips in the Skagit Valley. What we found were fields of daffodils and tulips.
Yellow!
Glorious yellow as far as the eye can see! A bit farther down the road, we found some tulip fields. How do you suppose this red one escaped?
The Lone Red Tulip
And then we saw Mount Baker, standing guard in the background, silent and snow-covered.
The Color of Snow
Just as we were about to head back to the city, we spotted one more field of tulips in full bloom.
Pink!
Aren't these colors wonderful? And they're all out there, waiting for you to just step outside!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Puzzled!?

Yesterday afternoon I looked outside and this is what I saw. The English daisy that I'd planted the day before no longer looked like it did. Almost every single flower had been neatly snipped off, their stems gone! Today the plant has a tall fence of chicken wire around it. Maybe it will bloom again?
Snipped!
Several days ago we spotted this cutie out in the yard. Sh/e is only about 6 inches long and has stayed pretty well hidden. Surely this is not the guilty party? Somehow though, I think one of its relatives may be wishing it could figure out how to get at the remaining two flowers with the tasty stems.
Snipper?
During the winter, Pat challenged folks to make some Crazy Quilt puzzle pieces, and I've been puzzling over how to do it ever since. The deadline is June 1, so pondering just wasnt' going to make it happen, and I took the plunge. Piecing such a small area was challenging as was finishing it. Stitching and embellishing the piece was fun though. I have 3 more to finish for Pat's Pieces of Friendship and then another set to exchange with Kathy
By then maybe I'll know what I'm doing!
Puzzle Piece 1

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Booties, Stitch Markers, and Chocolate Flowers

All these spring babies are keeping me hopping, or at least my needles clicking! This pair of booties had been languishing in my UFO pile until Jill's friend had her second daughter last week. Now hopefully they are in Chicago, being worn!
Margo's Booties
Much to my delight, I discovered this Chocolate Primrose in full bloom in our backyard the other day. It was planted last summer and apparently survived the rigors of our recent winter. And just maybe, rabbits don't like chocolate?
No calories in this chocolate!
This week the mail brought a very nice surprise, these wonderful stitch markers from Dee. I can't wait to put them into use, but right now the sun is out, and I'm going outside to do a bit of gardening!
Thank you, Dee!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It Arrived!

The US mail did its job, and the hat arrived in Chicago on Saturday afternoon. According to Jill, Sophia loves it and hasn't taken it off since she got up from her nap and opened the package. This isn't quite the Easter finery photo that I'd imagined, but it sure is too cute not to share!
Strawberry Girl

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He has risen! Alleluia!





Easter Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Your Easter Bonnet......

As soon as I saw this pattern on the Internet last weekend, I knew I just had to make it for Sophia. It's about the cutest hat ever! Thank you, Sock Pixie. It was fun to make and is now on its way to Chicago, hopefully in time for Easter. Nothing like calling it close, eh?
Clochette
Won't she look sweet?
Love those shoes!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our Wild Goose Chase

Yesterday afternoon, after reading in our paper about the snow geese at Fir Island, near Mount Vernon, we headed north to find them. It's lovely country with great views of the mountains and depending on the season, the flowers. The tulips aren't out yet, but the geese surely were. Mount Baker After driving to the spot where the newspaper photo was taken and of course, finding nothing, we started wandering the country roads. At one point, I thought I saw some white spots in the distant fields, so we got serious in trying to figure out how to get closer. We took the first road in that direction and then turned onto what was labeld, dead end. Bingo! We first saw them off in the distance, and then they began moving slowly closer. Do they do this for all bird watchers? In Flight They kept coming closer and closer until Dick could get some good shots without his telephoto. The snow geese winter here in Washington, and the paper said they are about to leave for their summer dwelling place in the far north. Getting Closer Notice the black feathers under their wings. Our bird book says they sometimes have rusty-colored heads. Might that be from playing in the mud and drinking muddy water? Move over! I've never seen so many birds at once. The honking noise was incredible. And they just kept moving closer to where we were. Aren't I cute? Dick took lots of movies, and hopefully this one will give you a good idea of the noise. What we thought at first was wind, is the sound of their wings as they took off. Why did they all leave? I have no idea. Maybe they were full?
video

Saturday, April 4, 2009

No-fail Pie Crust

Last week we hosted our Small Group from church which includes dessert. Normally at this time of year, I would serve something with either rhubarb or strawberries. However, our weather hasn't seemed like spring, so I decided to bake a pie. With Easter coming up, I thought perhaps someone might appreciate this wonderful pie crust recipe that was given to me some years ago by my stepmother:
Pie Crust
Cut together:
2 cups of flour
1 cup Crisco (I now use the no trans fat kind.)
salt
Add: 1/4 cup milk mixed with 2 Tablespoons vinegar (If it seems too sticky, I add a little more flour.)
Roll into 2 large crusts or 3 medium crusts. (I roll them out on a well-floured pastry cloth with a floured sleeve on the rolling pin.)
This recipe is easily halved and NEVER fails. Honest! (Our daughters and my sister will tell you the same thing....)
Ready to Fill
Since I was making an Apple Crumb Pie (Page 297, Better Homes and Garden cookbook, 1962, my way, I peeled and thinly sliced 5 large Granny Smith apples and tossed them with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. After putting the coated apples into the pie shell, I topped them with a crumb topping. Any recipe would work, but I used what was given: Cut together 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, and 1/2 cup butter. (I always use a pastry blender for both the pie crust and the topping.)
Ready for the Oven
After baking the pie for 40 minutes at 400, I generally turn the oven way down, to 300-325 degrees, and bake it for another 15 or so minutes until the juice is bubbling up nicely and the apples are tender.
As you can see in this photo, a few of the apples got a little brown. (I had made the pie that morning and refrigerated it. Because of a time crunch, I didn't let it warm up long enough before baking it.) However, I served it warm with vanilla ice cream, and no one complained. In fact, not a drop was left on any plate!
Yum
This is not a calorie free dessert, but I figure if you're going to have dessert at all, it might as well taste good. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Joke!

It's almost lunch time, and it's been snowing since we got up this morning. Really, it has! Wet, sloppy SNOW. Enough already..... (If you look carefully, you can see where the bunnies have been nibbling.)
Spring?