Sunday, January 29, 2012

Learned a new thing today!

I always love when I learn something new and today was the day! I learned how to do Broomstick Lace! I have a really pretty yarn that is variegated with all the colors on a peacock! Here is a picture of the yarn-it is made by Universal and it is called Reef.

(Photo via Jimmy Bean's Wool website)

If you don't know what broomstick lace is, here are 2 pictures I found one on pinterest and the other on google.

(Photo via pinterest.com)

(Photo via Google.com)

You use a size 35 US Knitting Needle and you pretty much crochet and add loops to this huge knitting needle. Then you take 5 loops off and crochet single crochet into the loop 5 times and on and on. I watched a youtube.com video of this technique and it was really simple!

I will be working on a scarf in between the 2 cowls I'm making. Don't want to get bored!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Megan!!


Today is our oldest daughter, Megan's birthday!! She turned 31 today! John and I had dinner with her and her hubby at Firebirds last night and it was such a nice time. I cannot believe I have a 31 yr. old daughter!! When did that happen! I remember her as a little girl playing with dolls, making me wonderful art projects, playing with the dog, reading books, loving her baby sister like she was her own daughter, etc., etc. They sure do grow up fast!! Megan went to Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts for Interior Design. I was so proud to stand at her graduation and she her accept her diploma. She worked so hard for that degree! Megan has been married for almost 4 years (4 yrs. in April) and she has grown into a very beautiful young woman, wife and friend! She still loves her sparklies, which I love to make for her! Megan is known in the family and with her friends as the glittery one. Let me explain that. She loves sparklie jewelry, glitter almost everything but everything is within good taste and not over the top! She has a wonderful laugh, which she uses often. Megan loves life!!

I hope you have a wonderful day Megs and enjoy dinner with Ken tonight! Love you to pieces!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First I mentioned my books and now.....

(Photo via pinterest.com)

Yesterday I talked about books, books everywhere well today is yarn, yarn everywhere!! Last night I went to knitting and sure enough Sara at The Cottage Yarn was having a sale! Guess who walked away with some beautiful royal blue Juniper Moon Farm yarn-that is right it would be me!!


Well as you see how could anyone resist this beautiful blue yarn called Clear Skies!! It is gorgeous! I will be making a cowl for myself with it. It is so soft and I love the fact that the owner of Juniper Moon Farm had come to The Cottage Yarn, visited with us and is a woman owned company! That makes it all right that I bought this yarn right? I am supporting a woman owned company. I know, I know I'm pathetic-LOL!!!

There is just something about colors and textures of yarn that just make me want to buy, buy, buy!! I was listening to some of the ladies last night about their yarn stashes (yes that is what they are called) and I am one of the few that doesn't have a whole room in their house designated for yarn and only yarn! They were telling me they have bags, plastic storage containers, closets, and shelves all full of various yarns in various textures and shades. So I guess that my hubby should be really happy that I don't go crazy and I usually give the things I make away as gifts (except for the last 3 purchased-I am making the cowls for myself). So my thought is I'm saving him money because I'm making theses gifts, which would cost a ton more than what I am spending on the yarn for the gift. Well atleast it sounds good-LOL!!!

Enjoy your day everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Books, Books Everywhere!!

(via pinterest.com)

Last night I was talking to John at dinner about all the books we have. We have 3 huge bookcases of books and we still don't have enough room for all of them. Alot of the books I have not read yet so I am the biggest culprit! I've got alot of historical fictions (which are usually large books) so they take up alot of room, I've got a gajillion cozies that need to be read and alot of fiction books tucked in here and there. I have gardening and decorating books still boxed up in the garage from when we moved in to the house we are renting in May. They will stay that way until we buy another house. I have a Color Nook that has alot of books on it and John has a Kindle that has alot of books on it. So I guess you get my drift when I titled this post books, books everywhere-we really do!

I have to make a better effort this year to read the books I already have. I tried this last year but failed horribly. As soon as I'm done with the books, I have been very good about putting them on paperbackswap so someone else can enjoy them. I also have been trying not to request anymore books unless they are on my wish list.

I have come to the conclusion that I could have a much worse vice than books and collecting books! I just need to read more, but my knitting has taken some of that time. I guess I will have to learn how to divide my time between my 2 vices!!

Do any of you have tons of books?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sherlock Holmes 2


Saturday John and I went to see Sherlock Holmes 2. While we liked the movie, we preferred the first one over this one. There was the wonderful camaraderie between Holmes and Watson, the spectacular affects were there, the evil person was there but something was missing. It was entertaining but not as enjoyable as the first Sherlock movie.

I would give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter White

I love Winter White things from coats to dishes to really anything winter white! I went on pinterest tonight and found some wonderful pictures so I thought I would share them with you!

(All photos are from pinterest.com)

I love Winter White sweaters or winter white wool pants!

Who wouldn't love this bathroom!!

White or winter white linens have always been a big favorite of mine.

These David Austin roses are just so beautiful.

I love this idea-apothecary jar filled with winter white buttons. I just might have to go to the Container Store and get an apothecary jar and recreate this!!

Beauty

I would love to have a winter white coat like this-just gorgeous!

This gown is just exquisite.

I may have to knit up this tea cozy! Not for this Valentine's Day but I would love it anyday!

Well I hope you enjoyed the winter white display. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Wonderful Women of Cottage Yarn!!

Last night I had knitting group. It was a smaller group last night of about 10 or so. The women in the group have interesting jobs: one is an author, another a nurse at a Veteran's hospital, another teaches nursing, one is a young mother with a job, goes to the gym regularly and goes to college full time, one is a manager at a laboratory, one is the shop owner, one worked at a mid-western college and is now retired, another is an admitting nurse at a local hospital, one is a teacher at an elementary school, one is a stay at home mom with a card making business on the side and I'm in commercial construction. We all have knitting in common, but the bond is even deeper than that. These women have faced losing a child, breast and ovarian cancer, divorce, unfaithful husbands, etc., etc. but they have all been strong and made it through anything life has thrown at them! We meet every Tuesday night and when we walk through the door individually it is like being Norm on the old TV show Cheers-everyone says your name like you are the most important person on the earth!! Then we all catch up with each other and check out each others knitting projects or yarn finds. We go in search of new yarn for new projects, someone always brings something they have made to eat, so we share that too. We help each other with problems in our knitting (or crocheting for some of the ladies). More than that though we have shared parts or all of our lives and everyone pulls as a group to help the person that is having some trouble or is upset about something that has happened to them.

In this day and age I find it a comforting to know there are still groups like this that you can go to and be a part of. Sometimes we have had bumps in our little group with personalities but it all seems to work out. Alot of the ladies say jokingly that coming to our knitting group is cheaper than therapy! I feel it is a kind of therapy! Just meeting with the same women every week and sometimes on the weekend and sharing is like group therapy. I also get alot of therapy from the knitting process. After rushing around all day at work and being so busy, busy, busy it is so nice to just sit, relax, chat and knit. We are a form of a family. We have celebrated birthdays, the birth of grandsons or granddaughters, Christmas parties, people graduating from college or high school.

I just wanted to put my thoughts down about how I feel about my knitting group and hope that if someone is searching for a knitting group, bookclub, quilting group, church group, etc., etc. they find what I have found in the group of women at Cottage Yarn! Love you girls!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Camellias, Camellias Everywhere

Last week my double red camellia started blooming in our yard! I love these flowers. When we lived up North we couldn't grow camellias because it was way too cold for them. Alot of our neighbors have really beautiful shell pink camellias. I would love to get some more camellias and put them in pots for when we move into a house of our own but I am going to wait until then. It won't be for some time yet but I will just enjoy the one I've got now and my neighbors!

Here are my camellias:


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Gilder by Kathryn Kay


This week I am reviewing The Gilder by Kathryn Kay. Here is what goodreads.com had to say about it:

Set against the exquisite backdrop of Florence, Italy, The Gilder is a compelling and beautifully wrought novel of secrets, friendship, betrayal, and the simple choices that change us forever. . .
In Marina Nesmith's skilled hands, even the most tarnished picture frame or objet d'art can be made perfect once again. Her life, too, seems flawless, at least on the surface. But more and more, Marina is conscious of what she lacks--someone to share her joys and sorrows with, confidence in the decisions she's made, and the courage to tell her teenage daughter, Zoe, the truth about her father.

Then Marina is invited to return to Florence, where she lived years before while learning her trade as a gilder. In those heady days, she wandered the city's picturesque streets, marveling at the masterpieces in the Duomo and the Pitti Palace. In the church of Santa Croce, she met Thomas, an American photographer who, along with his wife Sarah, introduced Marina to a thrilling, bohemian world of art and beauty. Through them, she also learned about love, lies, and the way one mistake can multiply into many. Now, as her past and present collide, Marina will finally have to move beyond the intricate veneer she's crafted around herself, and find the life that she--and Zoe--have been looking for.

Here is a little bit about the author:

Following college, Kathryn Kay spent five years living in Florence, Italy, where she studied restoration and gilding. Kathryn is the founder of the Nantucket Writers Studio, which offers writing workshops for women. She has three adult children, and lives on Nantucket Island with her husband, Robert.

My review:

I would give this book 5 stars or diamonds! I loved reading this book because it made you feel like you were right there especially when the main character, Marina was in Florence, Italy. I love novels set in foreign countries, I love art and creativity and I love to read about how someones life can take twists, turns, up and downs. This book has it all! The descriptions of Marina gilding items and reconstructing them to be gilded were incredible to me. The relationship between Marina and her daughter, Zoe was interesting also. The mix of emotions that Marina felt when Zoe wanted to Florence with her really brought back a flood of memories both good and bad for her. I don't want to give too much of the story away, so you will just have to read the rest to find out what happens! ENJOY!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

John Got the JOB!!!!!!!

We found out this afternoon that John got the job and starts Monday! We are all so thankful for all your wonderful comments, thoughts, prayers, good job vibes and e-mails you have sent our way! It has been a very hard 4 years for us and now I think we are finally climbing our way out of the "bad" luck. John's interview was almost 2 hours long and he was asked many, many questions. When the interview was over they told him they would have to discuss the compensation package but they would definitely call him this afternoon. They only took a few hours to call him back and he will be making more with this job than the job he just got laid off from!! We are so excited and happy about this lovely news! We are treating ourselves out to dinner tonight-woooooohoooooo!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dove Grey wins out over Oatmeal

I posted a few posts ago that I had started knitting a cowl and didn't like the way it was turning out. The yarn was not chunky enough and the needles weren't the right size. I went to knitting group last night and found the perfect yarn!! It is a lovely light grey and made by Silenzio. I bought the size 13 needles the pattern recommended too but dropped it down to a size 10.5 US. Here are so pictures I took of it:

This is what the Cowl is going to look like when I get it done. It is called the Gap-Tastic Cowl from Ravelry.com.

Here is the yarn I'm using. Silenzio 90 Lt. Grey. You can see I just started the project.

Here is a closeup of the yarn.

Closeup of the start of my project.

I will show all of you the Cowl when it is done. I hopefully will get it done pretty quickly because the weather is changing back to cold here in Charlotte over the weekend.

If you are working on any project (knitting or not), let me know what you are working on!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just a little of this and that!

Last night John and I went to Jenny and Kevin's for dinner. Of course, Owen was there too! Megan and Ken were invited also, which was a nice surprise! Jenny made a wonderful dinner of zucchini crabcakes, rice and a wonderful salad. For dessert she had cantaloupe and kiwi cut up in chunks, which was lovely!! She knows we are all trying to eat healthier and she succeeded with her dinner!

After we got home I picked up the cowl I am knitting and decided I really need to get different yarn, something more chunky and a different color. Tonight is my knitting group that meets at the local yarn shop in Mint Hill. I guess I will be making a purchase and I also realized I need 13 size needles too for this cowl. I'm thinking something in an oatmeal color or a nice dove grey!! We'll see what Sara has at the shop tonight.

Yesterday was a great day-visiting with family, eating a healthy dinner and then relaxing with John!

Hope everyone has a great day today!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake


I was suppose to do this review on Friday and got distracted and forgot. I apologize!

Here is what amazon.com had to say about this book:

If Heather Blake's It Takes a Witch is any indication of mysteries to come in 2012, this stellar standout series debut has set the bar. high. Extremely high!

Blake has elevated the cozy/mystery/paranormal/amateur sleuth genre to platinum with this wickedly delicious first installment in the Wishcraft Mystery Series.

Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, are descended from a lengthy succession of witches who have the power to grant wishes by casting spells. The Merriweather gals have landed at Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but murder greets them shortly after arriving.

Darcy and Harper were enmeshed in dead-end jobs and going through the motions of everyday life until their aunt surprised them with a juicy family secret.... they're witches. Not just any `ole witch: Wishcrafters - witches with the capability to grant wishes with a simple spell.

Keen to start anew, the sisters travel to their aunt Velma's magic-themed tourist community to explore their recently discovered talent.

When wannabe witch, Alexandra Shively, is found laying on the ground with aunt Ve's scarf knotted tightly around her neck, and aunt Ve's honey, Sylar, kneeling beside her, things don't look so good for auntie's squeeze.

Aunt Ve's obstinately remaining in Sylar's corner, but Darcy overheard him wish that Alexandra would disappear for good. With Harper's attention diverted by her latest adoration, Darcy is inclined to discover the truth. Even if it'll take a bucket of wishes to get to the bottom of this beguiling mystery... Darcy's determined.

It Takes a Witch is an absorbing, entertaining, fast-paced -- not to mention hilarious - cozy. Blake wields a charming blend of laugh-out-loud moments, electrifying mystery components, enchanting paranormal elements , heart-thumping romance, vivacious characters, and an energetic plot. Love Pepe!

Now for those who know me, know I am a hardcore cover tart. Blake's cover has me pulling out my broom in the daylight doing flips. Stunning. I am pulled into Blake's hypnotizing world and want to drink green tea with Darcy, Harper and aunt Ve.

My Review of the Book:

I really loved this book and I'm glad there will be more since this is the first in a series! Bravo to Heather Blake!! Who wouldn't love this cute cozy for its witches, wishcrafters, murder, intrigue..... I normally don't read books in the genre, but I loved this one! I would high recommend it!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My New Knitting Projects

I have been knitting alot lately. I took a small break from knitting after Christmas. It was a very small break, probably a week! I received some really beautiful yarn from one of my knitting friends, Ginny. She is in my knitting group and a real sweetie! The yarn she gave me is by Dream. This is Smooshy which is a cashmere sock yarn, which is hand painted. The color is Nightwatch 220. I found a pattern of a shawl on ravelry.com called Summerflies. Here is a picture from ravelry of the shawl:


Here are pictures of what I've got done so far:



I am also working on a Cowl pattern called Gap-tastic Cowl. I guess the writer of this pattern figured out The Gap cowl and put her spin on it. This is what her Cowl looks like:


The yarn I am using for this project is Mini Mochi by Cascade Palace Yarn. Color 313. The colors are beautiful in this yarn. Here is a picture of the colors:


As you can see, I am not very far along on this project. I just started it today. If this works out some people will be getting this cowl (I will be using other yarns)for Christmas!

Well I'm off to knit!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What Beautiful Weather we are having here in NC!!!

The beginning of the week was freezing cold, I'm talking in the teens for us. Now the temp today hit 69!!! It is gorgeous out. I think there is rain coming our way though. I really enjoyed being out in the warm sunshine today. Think I'll take a walk with John before dinner!

We had a great breakfast with Megan and Ken today. We went to our favorite breakfast spot called Skillets!

Praise for Barnes and Noble. I had gotten a Color Nook about a year ago and the leather cover wasn't holding up the way I thought it should. It seemed to have buckled and there were some splits in the cover. I took the Nook and my original receipt to B&N today and they didn't hesitate at all they just replaced it with a new one! Gotta love that!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Eating Healthy Really Works!

John and I have both been doing really well on eating healthier. We both have lost a pound already and it has only been 4 days. It really hasn't been that hard to do, we just have made different choices when we eat. We have also got some more exercise in but not too much. Just walking has really made a difference. We plan on continuing along on our eating healthy path together!

This weekend is suppose to be warmer than the beginning of this week so I'm hoping we could walk on the greenway near our house. I sit alot during the day at my job and then come home and knit, read or watch TV which doesn't help with the exercise thing either. Now the days are staying lighter later we can walk when we get home from work and not worry about being hit by a car!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We might go to see War Horse or the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I will definitely be cleaning my jewelry area up-never got to that the other day! I hope I can start creating some more sparklies too for my etsy site. Take care!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eating Healthier in 2012!

I know people make New Year Resolutions to diet, lose weight, exercise more, etc., etc. I have decided to eat healthier, not a resolution I just need to make some changes in my eating habits. I have lived in the South for about 7.5 years now and I have eaten more fried food in the past 7.5 yrs. than I have eating in my lifetime before that-LOL!! Now I love fried chicken just as much as as the next person, but I have started ordering grilled chicken again. I also need to add some fish or seafood to my diet (of course grilled, not fried). I have decided to cut out french fries and order more veggies or a baked potato (not loaded) instead. My daughter, Jenny told me about a website that will help me track my food and exercise and help me get to the weight I want to be. Here is the website in case you are interested: www.myfitnesspal.com. If you have an iphone, etc. you can sync it with your information from this site.

Now I really need to figure out how to get more exercise in my life also. I sit alot of the day at my computer at my job with some walking from one end of the building to the other but I need to do more. I am going to try and walk on my lunch hour or right before dinner when I get home. I might not be able to do this every day but atleast every other day would be good.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Feather and Fan Scarf I Finished


Last year I started this scarf for myself. It is called Feather and Fan. I love this pattern and chose a wool and silk lovely skein of yarn from Brooks Farm Yarn. There website address is: www.brooksfarmyarn.com. The yarn line I used was Solo Silk. I bought this yarn when I was at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) in the Fall of 2011. I love this yarn and the way my scarf turned out! If you are a knitter, you really should try this pattern and this year!




Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!