Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crocheting Tips & Tricks from K4TT

I can't begin to count the number of times I have finished a second doll arm or foot, only to find it is slightly smaller than the first.

It's not hard at all to do! Your hand will naturally begin to fatigue as you work and thus, pull stitches tighter; creating a 'smaller' finished item.

One simple and effective way to making pairs more identical, is to start both at the same time. Working a few rows on one and then on the other until both are completed.
You can compare sizes often and easily maintain accurate gauge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hazy, Hot & Humid

It's summertime, summertime - sum - sum - summertime...

Summertime, you either love it or hate it, I guess. Well at least that's how most of my friends feel about the topic.
As for me, I am kinda on the fence about it. That is to say, I love to hate it - I guess... or I hate loving it.. take your pick.

I hate the humidity... that's for sure.
And while I live only minutes from the beach; I don't do the whole tanning/swimming thing.
Now I know what you are thinking... 'Yeah.. cause you've got natural olive skin.. Italian *five letter expletive*'

No. My mother is actually Sicilian and 'blond/blue'... I've got the whole dark hair and eyes thing... but I have my mother's skin..
I've just never been into the whole baking in the sun for hours to get that 'Thanksgiving Turkey' glow...


And I don't dare go into water that I cannot see my feet in... never, ever, never.
Hubby loves to fish.. freshwater & saltwater.. do you know what's in there? Well, I do.. and it's amazing..
(Sorry... almost broke into the MONK theme song there for a minute... aren't you glad I restrained myself?)

So anyways..
back to the whole Summer Bash-ing thing here..

The other thing that I totally cannot stand about summer... well, in the summertime air.. I am not a very happy hooker..
Trying to work with yarn is like.. trying to run through quicksand with weights on. Well, okay, perhaps it's not quite that bad and I am exaggerating a little... but the yarn certainly doesn't slide effortlessly through your fingers as it would on a cool October night..
And, as you know, I've got to keep my fingers in both yarn and thread... or one is gonna suffer greatly.

But summertime does have it's redeeming qualities for me.
My second favorite thing to do...
Getting down in the dirt.. playing like a 7 year old again..

Gardening gives me an excuse to get my hands dirty, muddy... filthy... to get up close to worms and other nasty little things that women my age are suppose to run in fear from. All this pleasure.. without guilt... without anyone looking at me weird...
cause damn it.. I am GARDENING!

I must admit, this summer I've not been able to dedicate myself to my garden as I have in past years. I must struggle to find time to simply water it most days. In fact, the last few days I have cheated and used the sprinkler as a 'heat-relieving child's toy' and 'a gardener's watering can'.
But I try very hard to pamper the few babies I have this year.


Two of my favorite Thai dishes call for this.. a lot of this... so I've got 7 outdoor plants and 2 seedlings started in my kitchen window.
Gra Pow or "Holy Basil ".

Each started from seed back in April, these are my pride and joy...
and quite honestly, usually picked over quite a bit more than they've been used this year.
None the less, you can never have too much basil in your Gai Pad Gra Pow (okay, okay.. Thai Ground Chicken) and I can never have too much of it growing in my yard.

I've even got it growing in my entry way... the smell of this plant is so, invigorating...
I just love walking out my door and catching a whiff of it... just makes me feel alive.

And no self-respecting Italian would have a spice garden and be caught dead without at least 1 plant of Italian basil. Well, ya'll knew it had to be in there, and while it isn't used half as much as the Gra Pow, it's always mandatory to have on hand for sandwiches and gravies.

as well as...

YUP! maters...
Although, I think I've been most disappointed in my tomato yield this year. Surely I have myself to blame, but I believe the weather or perhaps the soil has played a part as well. I mean, here we are almost the last week in July and I've yet to have one 'mater sammich'!!
It just isn't summer without a nice thick slice of Beefsteak between 2 toasted slices of white... dressed up with some mayo, salt n' pepper...
mouth is just watering now thinking about it.

And I am not the only one in the family who enjoys playing in the dirt... although at their ages, it's sort of expected.
The beautiful sunflowers at the beginning of this post belong to my daughter(s). Okay, I am not sure which one... shhhh...
Around Mother's Day, the classroom did the whole 'Plant a Sunflower Seed for Mom and make a Card' Mother's Day gift thing... well ...
that little stalk of green grew into an almost 7 foot thing of beauty.
She is so proud...

And finally.. my little 'Zen Garden'
Complete with Buddha and wind chimes..

This is where I go when I say that I am going outside or I have gone outside for a ciggie.
I can just get so lost in the lush greens ...
the 2 evergreens are the newest additions... which is why they look a little... haggard...
I often take half dead plants that people are ready to ditch, and try to give them a second chance at life.
The beautiful evergreen in the center... well 2 years ago.. it could have made a guest appearance in a Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank You!

I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful birthday greetings and wishes I received.

The best birthday present in the world is to be remembered by wonderful friends and family, like you!

Today was pretty quiet.
I did the norm...
Took care of the old man, played with the kids, cleaned and tried to find time to do a little hooking.
D had to work until 7 this morning, then had to go back in at 4pm... (we had to stay "quiet" to allow him to get some sleep before going back in on 'Storm Duty' for the night) ... lol
D wants to try to celebrate my birthday this weekend... Mother Nature - pfft!

I wanted to be able to share with you some photos that I got back on Saturday...

The photo above, I actually took back in November/December of 2007.

And it's not nearly as... ummm... obscene as it may first appear.

It's just a little ole' doggie bone.
It was originally intended as a toy for a friend's small dog... but once I completed it, I became concerned about it's weight.
The amount of polyfil needed to fill out it's shape actually made the piece quite heavy. Well, a Toy Poodle or Border Collie wouldn't have had issues; but the TeacupTerrier it was intended for ... well, let's just say, I think the bone could have easily out-weighed the dog. *giggle*

I will reattempt this project using thread and see how that does.

So there it sat there on my WIPFIS (work in progress / finished items shelf), until it was spied by another member of the family and quickly nabbed up...


Nope... the "Ox" didn't lay claim to it...
it may be a little surprising as to who actually did...


Uh huh... well he looks content.. and you see the claws?!??
You want to tell him it wasn't meant for him?