Friday, November 28, 2008

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly...Tra, La, La, La!

Matt and I carried on our holiday tradition of decking our halls the day after Thanksgiving. We hung the wreath on the door, put our new silver bells over the lights on either side of the garage, decorated the outdoor trees. We put the tree up, untangled the lights, hung the ornaments...

Put the star on top the tree...

And set out the nativity set. We've added the three wise men this year - and will hopefully finish the set next year! I love Willow Tree!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Black Friday Guide

Ok, so this post isn't going to be all about the amazingly crazy, super spectacular savings on the hundreds of products you can buy at all the big box stores like Target, Walmart or wherever.

Oh no, this blog post is about how to save your SANITY and shop a little more locally this Black Friday. (Not to say that I won't venture at all into the madness - I mean THERE IS $3.98 DVDs at Target and my husband just to happens to be a crazy movie buff - so you know).

BUT, these places are THE places to be this Black Friday for a lot more Christmas cheer and less crazy mobs of shoppers.

1. Karen Mercer Interiors
20% off everything in the store Friday and Saturday!

2. Kira's Cottage
Fri. Nov. 28 from 9am-8pm & Sat. Nov. 29 from 9am-6pm
Come and enjoy some yummy chocolates, hot coffee, or hot cocoa as you check out what we have to offer! There will be sales throughout the store and don't forget to ask for your 50% off coupon good on these two days only!

3. Imagination Station
Toys you can't find anywhere else on the southside of Indy.

4. Take Root
Uh-mazing Christmas decor and more!

5. Clementine's Dry Goods
Fabric and fibers that would make any dedicated crafter go weak in the knees.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picked Myself Some Weeds

Found some holiday cheer while out walking the pups today - lovely red berries in the brush next to the community pond. There are two different kinds and I think one is winterbery and the other wild rose hips.

One of my neighbors was outside and saw me walking past with dogs in tow and twigs in hand, "Picked yourself some weeds, huh?" he asked. Sigh.

Web Finds Wednesday

100 Money Saving Tips for Holiday Gifting (from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity) - Lots of great tips for saving a little dough this holiday season (and in general).

The Marine Mammal Center Blog
Watched the spot, Ocean Animal Emergency, on Nova about this place - AMAZING. Makes me want to quit my day job and go out and help the seals! Not to picture the sand and sun that comes with California.

Mrs. Moggs Calendar
Haven't found your 2009 calendar will once you see this! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Trying To Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Picture from Craft Magazine

Trying to get in the holiday spirit by knitting up some great presents for a few unsuspecting folks for Christmas. I started off with a bang finishing a lovely scarf in a week...I have another scarf on the needles and I'm trying to chug out a few of these adorable sweater beer cozies, pattern by Melissa Martensen, while I'm at it.

Sadly, I'm already slowing down. Getting a tad frustrated with the beer cozy - my yarn is a little larger weight and I don't have the right sized needles so my cozy came out fitting a wine bottle and not a beer bottle - which works, but I want beer cozies (Christmas ideas)...I am on my second one and it is still fitting lose and I spaced the arms funny as I tried to lower the number of stitches to reduce the size - I ended up messing up the pattern - sigh. THAT and I don't quite get one part of the pattern - the Raglan it is...

Raglan Dec:

Rnd 1: *k2tog, k to two sts before marker, ssk, slip marker, k1, k2tog, k to three sts before marker, ssk, k1, slip marker* rep from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: work in st st.

Repeat these two rounds three more times for a total of 32 sts decreased. You should now have 36 sts on your needles.

I think I've read it like 50 times, I still end up scratching my head by the time it comes to actually knitting this section. I don't get where Rnd 1 starts...maybe it is the in the section before that gets me are suppose to join the arms first... and I do, but then I finish the rnd...maybe I am supposed to back knit...I dunno. I don't get it...sigh. Does Rnd 1 start at where I joined the first sleeve?

Either way I did manage to finish one cozy - looks fine despite my confusion so I made it work somehow - but it just has me confuzzled.

I also want to figure out a way to hand embroider on some initials....hmmm?

(my picture of the proj. to come....not sure where the cord to the camera is)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recent Reading List

Been a reading fiend the last couple of months what with all my bus riding (a.k.a. an hour of extra time each day to do nothing but read or stare at my fellow passengers - or at attempt to knit within my alloted personal space and unintentionally risk stabbing myself and others).

Anywho, here's a little list of what I've been enjoying bookwise:

The People of the Whale
Just started but really getting into it...will give a synopsis when I'm finished.

As Good As It Got
Eh, an ok read. I don't think I was really their intended readership. I picked up the book because of the dog on the cover - yup, I thought it was some sort of dog-related story....but, no, it was about four ladies who willingly or reluctantly attend a suddenly single camp and their struggle and triumph through their individual relationial problems and the bond they form together.

Moon Shell Beach
Good story about two women, friends from childhood, who shared a secret beach all of their own. As they grew up they grew apart - but eventually their lives crossed paths again in the small town of Nantucket - good ending.

Ms. Hempel Chronicles
Another, eh, for me. Story about a young woman and her struggles early in her career as a teacher.

The Groom To Have Been
Pretty interesting story about arranged marriages in the modern day world.

The Gift of Jazzy
A good light read about a woman who lost her husband but gained a small dog - and the joy he brings her in her time of despair.

The Joy of Doing Things Badly
Pretty much my mantra in life!

I go back and forth between being in the mood to read fiction and wanting to learn something and read nonfiction...I think I am on the brink of getting bored of fiction. Getting in the mood to actually learn something real! I've got quite a few nonfiction reads on hand that I've picked up from the library. Would make a list of titles but in doing so I'm afraid I would sound like some sort of nutcase. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lola Flashback

A clip of my sweet Lola from back in her puppyhood days. She's still quite the kisser! I loved how wiggley she would get - she still does. Too cute!

More recent pup-dog news, there is a new commercial on TV that involves a door bell poor pups thinks it is ACTUALLY the door bell ringing at our house and go into beserk barking fits and run to the front door. It's really freaking them out - me too for a while there until I realized what was making them bark...sigh. Dogs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's On The Needles

A sneak peek at one of my current projects. It's a stitch I've never knit before - but I love it! The seed stitch goes so fast! :)

Found out it's a little hard to knit on the bus - especially with long needles. They tend to cross a little over out of my personal space and into the person's next to me. That or they clang against the side of the wall...either way I end up looking hunchy and tense trying to keep from bothering anyone - so may just stick to reading on the bus ride and knit during lunch. Helps me destress at work anyways - and goodness knows I need that!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Triple Crazy Quilt Giveaway

The wonderful blogger and craft extrodinaire, Dana, over at Old Red Barn Company is at it again! She's concocted a giveaway so marvelous and grand that is requires not one, but THREE handmade and utterly gorgeous quilts! Swoon! (yes, quilts make me swoon - what of it?!)

My fellow blogger and good friend, Sarah from A Flower For You, won last time and I am hoping that her luck rubs off a little on me this time around! I may even try to whip up a video in hopes to gain more entries...I tried last time but the lighting was off and I gave up. Bummer I know.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go enter to win!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can't Get Enough Christmas?

If you can't get enough Christmas (like Sarah) and you live in the Greenwood/Southside of Indianapolis - I know just the place where you can go to get your fix!

Take Root is the cutest crafty decor store E.V.E.R. We are talking all the fluffy snowmen, jolly Santas, twinkly lights, scentalicious candles, braided rugs, primitive decor, garland, wall hangings - and more that you could possibly stuff into a small two story house converted into a winter wonderland!

Take Root is also open in the summer and spring just as full of wonderful goodness - but during the holiday season - they really go gung-ho!

Matt and I made it out to their Christmas Open House this past weekend for some toasty cider, some sweet treats, and came home with some yummy votives we won as doorprizes!

Take Root has two locations, one at 199 N. Madison Ave, Greenwood, IN and just opened a location at the Greenwood Park Mall!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Web Finds Wednesday - Too bad there isn't an Indianapolis version...yet!

Indianapolis Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving Day - For those of you who don't have to battle the traffic and rush to 40 different feasts this holiday - if only that were the case...sigh.

Thanksgiving for Idiots from ReadyMade Magazine - One day we will have our Thanksgiving (hubby and I) and I will get to make a turkey or something. I've heard lots of good things about brining - this is an idiots guide to just that!

Black Friday Resources
- It's almost here, not sure if I'm going this year or not...we'll see.

Pumpkin Cocktails & Desserts at Hostess with the Mostess - Did someone say yum?!

Sad Magazine News - Another good mag (Cottage Living) bites the dust.

Stupid, Cold, Stinky Bus

What? The picture is a little blurry? Oh, yes..that is because I took it while I was parked at a red light - how could I not?! Look at that price! $1.76 a gallon for gas! Sheez!

Makes me feel a little better about missing the bus for the upteenth time in a row yesterday. Apparently we have new drivers and they like to be early (ok, ok...on time) - but after getting used to our old drivers and their loosey goosey schedule - on time WAS early.

Now, with our new AM drivers, if you are not early you are way late...the bus pulled away as I pulled into the lot this morning and I was there by 7:35 at the lastest! I sat there in shock thinking for sure he would wait for me since I had drive right in front of him to pull in to the lot so he had to see me - and no one parks in the lot unless they are riding the bus - so HELLO...I was TRYING to catch the bus. Could you not have waited 30 more seconds for me to park my car and get out??

I should have known something was up when the driver (pretty sure it was the same one) closed the door and starting pulling away AS I WAS WALKING UP TO THE BUS on Monday morning...thankfully my dutiful co-riders yelled for him to wait. Sadly, their calls went unheeded Tuesday morning...sigh. (I was two feet from the door when this happened - NOT all the way across the parking lot or anything.)

Whatever. Stupid, cold, stinky bus....who needs grouchy drivers who don't give a hoot when you have heated leather seats and a pass to the parking garage? And gas is $1.76...

Sigh. Don't worry clock is set a half an hour earlier for tomorrow - I am still going to TRY to catch the bus, I haven't thrown in the towel - I am just ranting. It's what I do. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Blog Is Loved!

The amazingly marvelous blogger over at Return to Rural has been so gracious as to give me this wonderful award you see above (and fitting so snugly on my sidebar) - the I Love Your Blog award!

Now it is my turn to pass the love! (I can only pick 7 - arg that's hard to do!)

1. Momma Val
(in hopes that she passes the love to my two favorite other bloggers In Blue Ink & Goose Juice)
2. Prairie Vision Design
3. A Flower For You (pass the love to Amy at Our Family please!)
4. Layers of Meaning & Little Monsters
5. Alphabet By Design
6. Posie Gets Cozy
7. Matt's Miscellany (who has to pass it on to Candid Carrie, Little Miss Ella James & Ashley's Closet)

Part of accepting this award is:
  • Displaying the award.
  • Linking back to the person who gave it to you.
  • Paying it forward & nominating 7 blogs.
  • Leaving comments on their blogs telling them they’ve received one. Enjoying the award.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kira's Cottage Christmas Open-House

I am sure I've told you all about one of my favorite stores, Kira's Cottage - haven't I?! This weekend they set out yummy treats, had free mini art lessons, holiday music, and giveaways! Nothing like walking through historic downtown Franklin and entering an amazing little shoppe full of great gift ideas and books - hearing Christmas music and smelling that wonderful spiced cider brewing away!

The store also has a blog - full of news about the store, recipes and more!

I am still shy about having my camera in stores - but I did manage to snap a few shots - though blurry.

Charming home decor!

Great stocking stuffers! And at 50% off - who can resist?!

Love the table runner! Quilty goodness!

Craigslist: Anybody want anything??

Have a few things posted on Craigslist if anyone is local and interested in the following items!

Gold & Amethyst Bracelet

Minolta Maxxum 5 35mm Camera (complete with carrying case & roll of color film)

Large Dog Crate - SOLD!

Standing George Foreman Grill

Black & White Marilyn Monroe photo mounted to foamcore (measures 5 feet x 3 ft approx.)

X-Chair Hammock

Woman's/Girl's Fossil Watch

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Web Finds Wednesday!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals - Gotta love those ever-funny LOLCats - or in this case, Polar Bears!

Did you vote? Here's a video tribute to suffrage.

A Scent-sational Giveaway over at the Inspired Room!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Morning

(new pic - the last one was from earlier this year - drove me nuts not to be accurate - so here you go!)

Yup I did - made it out to the polling place before the doors opened! Stood out in the cold holding my hubby tight till we made it inside. Then waited an hour in line and mingled with neighbors - we only had 4 booths for our whole district to vote at so it took awhile.

Grabbed breakfast at Hardee's on the way home and watched the sunrise!

Fabric Giveaway Over At See Katie Sew

I am just a giveaway finding fiend lately, huh? Hey, what can I say - been the blog fodder is going wayside as of late. Even forgot to charge the camera on my husband's and I latest jaunt to the apple orchard, winery and park - yeah, that wasn't cool - totally bummed about it.

Anyways, here's something that cheered me up and is sure to cheer some of you, my crafty readers, as well!

Katie, from See Katie Sew, is celebrating her two year blogoversary with a fabric giveaway! And not just any fabric, but some of her favorite prints from people like Amy Butler, Sandi Henderson, and Erin McMorris. She's filling a flat rate box with as much fabric will fit! Wohoo!

There might even be some vintage fabric in there too. - Gasp!

These are just a few samplings of what is already making it into the box.

So how do you win? Well first by leaving a comment mentioning a new blog that you think she might like. If you'd like to "earn" more entries into the contest, post about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it in your comment, and you'll receive 5 extra entries. Plus, you'll receive an extra entry for every person that you refer that mentions that they came here through your blog.

She'll pick a winner on Wed Nov 5.

Good luck and be sure to mention that you heard about this giveaway from Stacy over at Squirrel Chatter!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Boo-lated Halloween!

Wow, so November is here already - kinda crazy to think about.

Matt and I both worked Halloween night so no candy or fun trick or treat pics. :(

But we did manage to partake in a few of the festive activities...mainly pumpkin carving and watching Charlie Brown & Garfield Halloween classics.

Ah, and here's how we start our Halloween traditions...two perfectly pale pumpkins and glass of wine. The tablecloth is down, the newspapers spread and bowl ready for collecting seeds!

Then the hurried planning and sketches..

What to carve this year?!

Then the first cut - that sharp pumpkin smell...the eww and goo...then the masterpiece comes together...(was originally an owl - then morphed into a cannibal pumpkin!)

And the finished product!

Not to mention cute garland! Got the pattern from Paper Crave!

Now on to November!