28 November, 2008


whew! i finished my pinky-brown scarf!

this scarf was made from 4" handwoven squares. i crocheted around the squares and then crocheted them together. then i started crocheting round and round and adding fringe.

i really love the texture of the woven squares and the crochet combined!

i used acrylic for ease of care. this is the hobby lobby brand, "i love this yarn!" in sweet mocha ombre, hot rose & brown. the squares were woven on my 4" weave-it; and i used a clover soft touch hook in size H.


since we had our thanksgiving meal so late... we did our post-thanksgiving tradition of Christmas decorating while the turkey was roasting.


as a kid, i used to read "the little house on the prairie" books - i really envied the joyous holidays the ingalls family celebrated. (the one with mr. edwards was my favorite!) and the tv show's depictions were great too! i loved the careful and secretive making of gifts... i loved the thought that went into the surprises... they didn't just run to the mall and throw tons of foreign-made cheaply made toys in the buggy. there was real thought, real effort... real love in those gifts.

the older i get, the more i want to concentrate on the spiritual meaning of the holiday. the more i see the rampant commercialism in society, the more i want to emphasize the sharing, the giving, the hoping, the loving aspects of the Christmas season.

our kids are grown now... so i don't feel the need to use all twenty-five plastic tote boxes of Christmas decorations that i have amassed over the years... i feel the need to simplify.

so we used only decorations that had meaning for us...

this is a new addition to our stash of all things Christmas-y: a charlie brown Christmas tree. "a charlie brown Christmas" is one of our favorite holiday dvds. so when i saw this in the store... i just knew we had to have it! (actually, i bought two... one for home and one for sugar daddy's office)

sugar daddy has a real love for scrawny bedraggled trees... he always picks one that he thinks no one else will buy...so when we go tree shopping, we always end up with a real doozy... we laugh and joke about it... take it home and decorate it.

it's always the most beautiful tree that we ever had.

so you see why i had to buy it... right? lol

here our our advent candles. we have been lighting the advent candles for a few years now... it's a nice tradition that really helps me (and hopefully the whole family) to concentrate on the meaning of the season.

here is my metal wreath (that way, i don't buy a new one every year)
(sorry about the pic... it was dark)

here is one of my most-prized possessions... a Nativity set. no, it's not an antique... but it has great sentimental value to me. this set was bought from home interiors, in six installments.

i got my first job at 15, working in a restaurant. home interiors was very popular with the employers there... even some of the customers got involved... it seemed every other week someone was having a home interior party.

every year, for my mother's christmas present, i bought the newest installment until the set was completed... she has had it for over 20 years. she put it out every year until a few of years ago. in fact, she always put it out on this particular piece of furniture... which she gave to me.

that Christmas, when she pulled out the Nativity set, she couldn't find an appropriate place to display it and asked me if i would like to have it. she said that it seemed to her that the set and the buffet just seemed to belong together. and would i like to have it?

i felt weird about it at first... but she explained that it had always been her intention to pass it back to me... she had enjoyed it for twenty years and could continue to enjoy it at my house. she knew how i loved and treasured it and wanted me to take it.

it graces the buffet every year... just looking at it makes me feel joyous!

even though, it doesn't really "go" with the set, i continue to use my mother's addition to the set: a silver (maybe foil) and blue star that she remembers being on top of her childhood Christmas tree. she thinks it may have been on the first Christmas tree after her oldest brother was born... so it is at least 60 years old.. maybe even 70. (of course, the bulb is new... not old)...

it is getting flimsy and one day, i may have to retire it... or find a safer way to display it... but i will enjoy it for now.

also on top of the buffet, flanked by candles, is a wooden box containing the traditional gifts of the Magi: gold, frankincense & myrrh.

so that is the extent of our decorating here in Greenville... we will decorate in Temple next weekend. it's a little more elaborate because we actually celebrate Christmas day in Temple.
QUESTION: what are you doing for the holidays? are you changing the way the way you celebrate due to economic issues or a change in your belief system?


this was an unusual thanksgiving for us this year. we didn't host a big dinner as we have in years past. and we didnt make the trip to georgia to share the holiday with our extended family. no, this year we stayed here in greenville...

our youngest son has recently gotten a job; and had to work. so since he couldn't travel--we didn't either.

for our mid-day meal, we went to saffron indian restaurant and ate from the buffet.

as always, it was wonderful!

then we took the barbarian to work.

and then, we headed home to prepare the actual thanksgiving meal.

i did a roasted turkey stuffed with oranges, onions and sage. (i always cook it in a reynolds oven bag),

dressing made with homemade cornbread, sage sausage, portobello mushrooms, artichokes, capers and kalamatta olives,

roasted sweet potatoes with marshmallows, homemade cranberry sauce, tomato salad, green peas, mandarin orange cottage cheese salad, pumpkin pies,

and a little cakey-thing/quick bread with cinnamon and dark chocolate chips.

we ended up eating at around 9 pm... and my sister and nephew stopped by as they came back into town (bringing a load of leftovers from georgia!)...

we ate dinner and watched "it's a wonderful life" --- i love to start the season and end the season with this classic movie... it always makes me reflect on just how wonderful my life is.

it is so easy to get bogged down in negativity... but when you really stop and evaluate, i am sure that you, like me... have a lot to be thankful for... take a few minutes and reflect...

happy thanksgiving...

25 November, 2008


look! a package from ravelry!

it's my new tshirt!!
isn't it cute?

and last, there is a picture of my pinky-brown scarf. i am about 90% done...this is made from woven squares trimmed with crochet.


Baked pumpkin with sage sausage, spinach, portobello mushrooms, onions & cheese. and for dessert...baked pumpkin with custardy-cream sauce.

23 November, 2008


using the panoramic feature on my camera phone, i tried to capture the sheer massive-ness of the pile of leaves that are now barricading our front yard! the pile is 4 feet tall and about 80 feet long... that, my friends, is a lot of leaves.

i just hope the wind doesnt scatter them too far out before the city can pick them up!!

22 November, 2008

Mission Autumn Leaves: Accomplished!

wow... the fellas have finished our leaves...the pile is 5 feet high in some areas...all the way across our front yard.

now they are doing our neighbor, mrs. j's leaves... aren't they sweet?

i wanted to jump in the leaves...but sugar daddy said absolutely not! darn it!


because the leaves... they be a'falling!!! our yard is covered in about 4 inches of fall foliage.

here is the batch of pumpkin muffins that i made this morning as nourishment for the two men of the household - as they battle autumn leaves:

sugar daddy -- hard at work

the barbarian - also hard at work

now that's a lot of leaves and they arent even done yet! whew!


I do believe it's rather windy in the Upstate!

21 November, 2008


here is why it takes me forever to finish a project: i was working on my pinky-brown scarf when i got an idea for a Christmas tree pin... so i had to stop and try it out.

i think that these could be small gifts or maybe trim for gifts.

i made this out of two handwoven squares done on my 4" weave-it loom: 1 green and 1 brown.
(but you could use crochet or knitted squares... or heck, even felt or fabric --- depending on your crafty bent!)

i really like the texture of the woven squares for this project...

fold the green square in half - in a triangle shape -- stitch around to secure double layer

fold the brown square in half - in a rectangle shape -- stitch around to secure double layer

attach the brown (trunk) to the back of the green (tree)... i put the trunk as far up the back as i could... and then attach a pin-back to where it is 4 layers.

turn the tree over and embellish (or decorate) the front... i went with buttons for a folk-art look and topped with a plastic bead for a star... but the decorations can be as elaborate as you want!

i am still not feeling the best-- so i pretty much stayed on the couch working on my craft projects and watching Picket Fences on my netbook at hulu.com ... i forgot just how much i loved that show!

if you dont know about hulu... you should go check it out, you can watch tv shows and movies for free... there is a pretty big selection... some vintage and some current.

it was perfect for a sick day --- and if i feel this bad tomorrow, i will watch more!

and who knows? i might even finish my scarf!

20 November, 2008


i was not feeling well today... so i stayed home instead of going to the weekly yo-c meeting. but i got a few things done... i started crocheting the edges of the pinky-brown weave-it squares.

i going to make a scarf as a Christmas gift... not naming the recipient... i dont think she checks here... but dont want to take any chances!

here is a close-up of how the squares are looking -- i think they are looking pretty good.

then i decided to surf ravelry, check email and blog... but as you, can see, mr. jubal had other ideas. he tried to lay down on top of my little bitty asus eee pc (which i just adore!) ... he decided that was just too uncomfortable... so climbed up on me... blocking my view.

so i had to wait until he went out for his evening walk to finish updating my blog!

here is tonight's supper... i went for super easy since i wasnt feeling well.

sugar daddy grilled chicken thighs that i had marinated in a mixture of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cocoa & bijol

i roaasted carnival squash wedges and sprinkled with grated italian cheese; and i also roasted green beans tossed with olive oil, seasonings, drained diced italian tomatoes & onions

yesterday, i noticed that i had a few (ok, way more than a few!) bananas that were getting to the over-ripe stage... so i decided to make some banana nut muffins. i gave the ring to our neighbor, sent a few muffins home with my nephew, sent some to sugar daddy's office and kept a few for us.

here is the recipe that i use for a loaf-pan size (please note that the above picture is 4 recipes worth!)

3 or 4 ripe bananas - mashed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of brown sugar splenda for baking mix
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup crushed or chopped nuts
(i use planters nutrition heart-healthy mix and crush with a rolling pin)


preheat oven to 350 degrees

spray a loaf pan with pam w/flour for baking

i dont use a mixer, i just use a wooden spoon to mix the oil into the bananas

add and mix sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon & ginger

add and mix flour, oats & nuts

spoon batter into loaf pan

put pan in oven and bake for 45 mins-1 hour

(if you decide to make muffins, adjust the baking time to about 25-35 mins)


13 November, 2008


here is an easy-to-do supper:

brown and drain sage-seasoned sausage

on one cookie sheet, combine thawed frozen green peas, sliced baby bella mushrooms, slices of bell peppers & chunks of onion. drizzle with olive oil. roast at 400 degrees for 40 mins

at same time drizzle chunks of peeled butter nut squash with olive oil and roast with pea mixture

boil and drain multi-grain spaghetti noodles... toss in heated skillet that sausage was cooked in.

combine all ingredients for a one-dish pasta meal ... sprinkle with your choice of grated cheese and parsley, if desired.



finally.. i have gotten back to the ladybug bag. for some reason, i hit a brick wall on this project; and just had to take a break from it.

this week, i have received several emails asking about my progress on the bag.

i spent about 4 hours at the car repair shop yesterday... and took the bag with me and finally made some new progress on it.

here are the straps completed. the ladybug buttons will fasten to a sleeve to cover the metal cinch clasp when using it as a strap. but i havent made the sleeve yet.

i even lined this... dont look too close, my sewing isnt the greatest...lol.
i cut up an old purple tshirt to make this lining.
actually the lining turned out better than i had anticipated.

i took the bag with me to the yo-c meeting...yes, i finally showed up again! i got some really nice comments from the ladies there! it's really nice to get feedback from people who understand your craft!

now i have to finish the embellishments, the sleeve and figure out the top closure piece.

back to the drawing board...

12 November, 2008


this is a pair of mittens that i made to donate to charity.

the weekly knit & crochet group that i recently joined... although havent attended the last few weeks... (i hope they dont kick me out...eek!)... had folks bring in their odd balls of yarn, or left over yarn from projects. the idea was to make "monster mittens"... pieced together from the scraps.

then the mittens will be donated to be passed out to homeless people for the holidays.

i did donate some yarn... but missed a few meetings & so wasnt there when they handed out the yarn to make the mittens... so i made a pair from some leftover yarn that i had here at home. (and sugar daddy was glad that i was able to reduce my stash by even a little!)

i made these on the blue knifty knitter hoop after looking at this pattern.

i didnt follow the pattern; i decided to make them square-topped--- i don't know if i would do that again! my thought process was to make them roomy... but i might have over done it.

all in all, i am fairly happy with how they turned out --- they really are toasty warm!

what do you think?

06 November, 2008


here is a pic of our supper last night: meatloaf, lima beans cooked with a hambone from last week and fresh spinach sauteed in olive oil with whole wheat noodles.

sugar daddy loves meatloaf... which is a food that i can't stand... just the thought of red ketchup (if you know me irl, then you know i think ketchup is the pinnacle of gross-ness) makes me want to retch... i came up with my own version. i am still not crazy about it... i can eat it... but my fellows just LOVE it!!!

2 lbs ground chuck
1 cup rolled oats
1 can italian diced tomatoes, drained
2 eggs, lighhtly beaten
2 slices of cheese (i use sharp cheddar...but feel free to try different kinds)
preheat oven to 400 degrees
spray broiler pan with cooking spray ...i use this to drain grease from loaf
in a large bowl mix all ingredients EXCEPT cheese slices
form a loaf shape in bowl (i use the sides of bowl to help)
place on broiler pan
put into oven and cook 40-45 minutes
take meatloaf out of oven place cheese slices on top
put back in oven for about 10 minutes
take out of oven and let rest for 10 mins


05 November, 2008


i have fallen in fiber love with my vintage Weave-It and my Hazel Rose Multi-Loom... so much so that i wanted to acquire some different sizes... but as you may know, these looms go fast and usually big bucks on Ebay.

so i was overjoyed to find this loom. it is a new loom made by a gentleman in Alabama. he had an Ebay listing for any two of his looms, a weaving needle and free shipping for $45. so i ordered one of his rectangle looms and one of his rug looms.

this is my new loom

this is the contact info for the gentleman that made this loom


i saw this little project on the eloomanater's site; and decided to make my own little handwoven wallet.

i made two squares with my 4" Hazel Rose Multi-Loom and two rectangles

i put the two rectangles together

i folded the squares to make the credit card pockets

and then stitched up the sides