Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The spider didn't answer......

she was very busy spinning her web.
Spider web

Many of you might recognize this line from Eric Carle's book, The Very Busy Spider. I think grew four additional appendages and have been the spider for the last four months.

I am thankful to have had the past four years of working part time so that I was able to be with my young family but last August I returned to work as a full time media specialist which may explain my absence. (Weird, "four" seems to be a theme here)

I have had little (precious) time to knit but still sneak it in when I can. Here is a fun little fall item to knit. It is the pattern by Marie Mayhew,
Woolly Acorn and Oak Leaf.

Woolly Acorn and Oak Leaf

Be back later :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Matchmaker

It's been a while since I've taken a knitting class but when this showed up in my inbox I couldn't resist! Marrying my favorite hobbies: photography and knitting!! I find it really difficult to take great pictures of knitted items and have them so you want to reach out and touch or squeeze the image or try it on for size plus I wanted to meet this photographer who had this dream job of photographing fiber farms, people and yarn.

Yarnery

I drove to The Yarnery on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and met Gale Zucker whose photography is so spectacular and really touches your inner spirit. We saw a slideshow of her beautiful work while she was photographing the pictures in her book Shear Spirit and also in the Mason Dixon: Knitting Outside the Lines book. Plus we went outside and practiced on a few knitted items.

Knit Chicken

Knit chicken


This is my unfinished Knit Chicken by Susan B. Anderson. She needs eyes, a beak and a tail. I didn't get it stuffed properly because I was working till the last minute at the Yarnery and didn't have any stuffing with me. I have to figure out if I can shove some in somehow :)

My brain is overloaded; Gale was a great teacher and had so much information to share. It was a great class and a perfect way to spend an evening. I would love to shadow someone like Gale. Too bad she lives on the East Coast.


Shear Spirit Book

Shear Spirit Book

One of the best things she taught me is the use of Flickr to edit photos using Picnik and post into Blogger. OMGosh! It makes it so much easier when editing for blogs or web. I had heard of Picnik but had never tried it. It's awesome! I messed around with these photos in this posting. Need to get the vignette down better but this saves so much time and you can do so much with it, even for free!

If you take a class at the Yarnery, you get a discount coupon towards a purchase. I swooped up this (hee hee) Aren't they cute?

Woolly Owls

PS. This puppy LOVES my yarn. She wouldn't let go for anything.
Lucy with yummy yarn

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Press "PLAY"

Oops! My elbow must have hit the pause button here on the blog.

No, really it was a healthy break for me. Lots of things to write and document since May 11 but I won't bore anyone with details:)

The sad news first: My mom called me early this morning with news that my grandma passed away. She was in hospice care at a nursing home (the very last place she wanted to be). I'm thankful that I was able to visit with her there a few times before she passed on. She was such a loving grandma and will be missed so much. I've talked briefly about her here on this blog. She will always remain such an inspirational person to me. Love you, Grandma!

I'm not alone out here in Bloggie World when saying "life has been busy".

:: Preschool ended
:: 3rd Grade ended
:: the last year of part-time teaching ended (I'll be full time this fall - bittersweet)
:: Grandma moved to a nursing home and then was placed in hospice care
:: Had a major garage sale so that meant cleaning out every nook & cranny
:: Puppy training (Lucy is turning out to be a great dog)
:: Began swimming lessons for the guppy in the family. He loved every bit of it
:: Soccer twice a week
:: Read my book for book club and actually finished it!!
:: Went to book club and enjoyed fabulous food by Kathryn
:: Had my first family photo shoot with a very special family (see photo below)
:: Our new nephew, Brady, was born
:: Sewing a ton of felted albums for a custom order
:: Getting ready to go letterboxing
:: Preparing for a family vaca to Disney World
:: Jillian Michaels is NOT my friend right now
:: began training for the TC10 mile
:: Vacation Bible School is over (kids attended, I volunteered)
:: Getting ready for full time this fall; lots of lesson planning ahead
:: Craft room was moved from the dining room to the basement ("before" pictures below)

Unfortunately, no knitting. But I'll get back on track soon.



Here is the incredibly messy, unorganized craft room. My husband was tired of the eye sore so he created a nook in our unfinished basement where I can be as messy as I want.

So I moved here next to the kids area where they play "school". This is before he hung sheet rock and put up fluorescent lights. I'll share pics later (when I can get it looking somewhat decent).

~Annie

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dirt Therapy

I love days like today. The smell of dirt was calling my name. That sounds weird. But it's a fact.

I had a wonderful Mother's day. My mom, sister, niece and I saw Legally Blonde. (Thanks again Mom!!) We left singing the catchy show tunes. Elle is all about retail therapy and looking fabulous. Personally, I loathe shopping for clothes and I make up my face with a mere four products but I still loved this movie and the musical is so fun. "Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed." Absolutely! "Bend and snap." UPS man was hysterical. Rent the movie if you haven't already or go see the musical!

So today was my day for some dirt therapy. Perfect blue sky.

Gardening shoes pulled off the potting shelf and dusted off.

A few simple tools for the cleanup job ahead.

Weeds to pull. Plans of seedling choices to be made. Last year's garden attempt was not what I had expected. Even the neighbors guinea pig wouldn't eat the carrots we grew !!!!

So this year it will be mostly flowers. Cut flowers so that I can enjoy them inside and out. Zinnias, Cosmos, Shasta Daisy, Coneflower, and I'm not sure what else. I hope it's not to late to grow from seed. I took a trip to a couple greenhouses and I didn't see what I wanted in a starter plant. I did pick up a couple of tomato plants. That was the one fruit of our labor that flourished.

This is our "Nala" bloom. I am not certain of the name but I believe it is a lily and it has an golden orange flower just like Nala's coloring. We planted this above Nalee's grave which is right next to our garden and swing set.

And I must include a Lucy update:

She is finding great satisfaction in running into the playroom or kids' rooms (where she knows she isn't supposed to be) and stealing a stuffed toy. Then she hightails it into the kitchen to her bed and begins the demolition process. I snapped this picture when she had about four or five illegal objects on her bed.



She's quite the girl. Puppy kindergarten begins tomorrow. Hope she passes.

~Annie

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E



I don't have a problem with caffeine, I have a problem without it!
Enjoy your morning,
Annie

Friday, April 10, 2009

Puppy and Patterns or Patterns and Puppy

I'm not sure what has been taking up more of my time...the puppy or the pattern I just finished writing and publishing. I'll start with the puppy. Really, this is just a photo post.




This is just one of the signs that greeted us as we pulled up into the place where Lucy lived her first 8 weeks of life. The sign says "SLOW Golden Retrievers at play". Lucy comes from a great family.




A sweet little kiss for daddy.






Lucy helping herself with the leash.


Frog legs


A good game of tug


All tuckered out



Here's the other busy P...I've designed May Day baskets! Or baskets for whatever you find useful. I wish this holiday would have more of a presence in our world. It's kind of like a random act of kindness except the receiver isn't supposed to know who it's from. One would hope that it puts a smile on their face and a bounce in their step. There are four different sizes and styles and I had so much fun taking pictures of these. I love fresh flowers and I really should have some around the house because they make me happy when I see them. As some would put it "Food for the soul" Yep! And the candy was delish too. Anyways, I decided to put this pattern in the Etsy shop since I labored this project. But I learned a lot through the whole process. I think the hardest part will be giving these baskets away. I love them way too much.



Have a Happy Easter!
Annie

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A quick note

The names were put into a bowl for the drawing and Laura, my coworker, drew Pink Sky's name. Congrats! Please email me with your address and I'll drop it in the mail to you. Thank you to you all for your interest. Please try to knit a bird if you can.

We're off in t-minus 18 hours to pick up Lucy Lu. Eeeeee! It's been a loooooong two weeks waiting.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cooper's Flock :: Would you like to help?


I learned of this heart breaking story here. I wanted to show my support so I requested the pattern from Lucinda. A few days later Susan had a drawing for some Blue Sky Cotton yarn and she selected my name to receive a skein. My little birdy is done and he's quite sweet. I just need to package him up and send him on his way which may eventually end up in a hospital pediatric intensive care unit bringing comfort to families who are overwhelmed. Lucinda is trying to get 100 birds knit up by May. I hope she receives more than that!

Would you like to help? I have plenty of the Blue Sky Cotton left over and I would love to pass it along to you if you would like to knit a bird. Go to Lucinda's site and request the pattern. She'll email it to you as well as the address of where to send the bird. If I have more than one taker, I'll have a drawing. Let me know by emailing me by the middle of next week. You can find my address over there to the right of the blog. I would love to "pay it forward".



Annie

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meet Lucy Lu B-Dawg


We managed to pull off a big surprise for our kids on Saturday. Since Nala's passing the kids have been asking when they can have another dog. It took my husband and I quite some time before we were ready to think about another pet but now we feel the time is right. We told our parents to keep an eye out for a litter of Golden Retrievers and it only took a phone call from my father in law to find a family (the Gieske's) who had pups that would be ready around Easter. On Saturday we took a drive in the country and told the kids that we were going to try to find a farm that had some spring baby animals we could see. After a couple hours of driving we were a mile away from the family with the puppies. We told the kids that we were going to just pull into one of these (thousands) of farms we passed to see if they had baby animals. As we pulled into the Gieske's my daughter became quite alarmed that we were going to show up without an invitation. Her comments were "Daaaad, we can't go here. We weren't invited." Ignoring her plea to leave we drove up the driveway, parked the car, hopped out gave the owners a big wink and asked if they had any baby animals we could look at. They gave us a tour of the barn and farm and even had baby calves which we didn't know about. How perfect of a plan it was!

Kitties in the barn seeking shelter

Baby Calves sucking fingers




A fun ride around the farm with a new friend

Peeking in


This is 2 year old Hunter being friendly


At the end of our tour we were told there was a big surprise in the basement. Even after showing our kids the puppies they still didn't know they were there to pick one out. They were having fun playing with the five puppies and then I told my daughter to select one because we get to bring one home in two weeks when they are ready to leave their momma.
I wish I could have captured the look on her face. Later as she was holding a puppy she asked "Am I dreaming?"






As for the name, well they couldn't decide on a girl name so it became "Lucy Lu B-Dawg" If you've ever watched Air Buddies one of the pups name is B-Dawg.

I think we'll call her Lucy, for short.

If you need a puppy fix watch this video of the big surprise:


video

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mittens and other stuff

I'm having some fun with the felted sweaters I've collected. These mittens are so warm and soft. They are lined with fleece to make them super soft inside. I know Betz White has a pattern in her Warm Fuzzies book but this was a pattern (very similar) from a friend who has caught the sweater-thrifting-felting-sewing bug. The first pair I made for myself. The second pair was a gift for a friend who generously loaned her sewing machine to me and I finally returned it to her because I bought one a couple months ago. Yipee! The third pair is a gift to have on hand. (no pun intended, ha!)






...and I made a couple 'custom order' photo albums.


So in the previous post I mentioned that we attended the Home and Garden Show and saw Shane Tallant. Here's what he autographed to my daughter. So true!!!


Finally, the birthday parties have come to an end and now we're left picking up the peanut shells, cardboard boxes, crumpled wrapping paper and empty cans. It was fun for all and many memories made.


Take care,
Annie