Showing posts from December, 2006

2006 Project Recap

Well, 2006 was a a good year for project stuff. I finished a few more things than in 2005. So without further ado, here's the recap.

Finished in 2006 (alphabetical order)
Advent calendar (sewing) 12/2006Baby booties in Lorna's Laces Angel (knitting) 02/2006Baby hat in Lorna's Laces Angel (knitting) 02/2006 Catnip Mouse, tan (knitting) 04/2006Catnip Mouse, teal (knitting) 05/2006Cowboy Santa Ornament (cross stitch) 12/2006"Dances with Turtles" quilt (quilting) 06/2006Kitty Pi bed (knitting, felting) 10/2006Knit2 prototype sock bag in red, black and white (sewing) 09/2006Knit2 sock bag in copper, black and blue (sewing) 09/2006"Kokopelli" (needlepoint) 01/2006"Ohm" shawl (knitting) 03/2006Rainbow Collection box of quotes (other) 06/2006Santa Fe #2, “Woman with Pots 2,” (needlepoint) 02/2006Scarf, aqua & purple scarf in Athena & Rowan Kidsilk Haze (knitting) 02/2006Scarf, purple Misti Alpaca, version 1 (knitting) 09/2006Scarf, purple Mist…

Recapping December 2006 and the year...

I realize that I have the rest of the day to finish something, but considering the projects that I have in progress, that probably won't happen!

I'm going to list my end-of-the-month recap here and post my end of the year stuff in a separate post.

December 2006 recap
Advent Calendar for my daughter (sewing)Cowboy Santa ornament (cross stitch)"Stockings Were Hung" Pine Mountain pillow kitScarf, Patons Carmen in steel blue
Twinkletoes slippers (knitting)Burgundy Alpaca scarf (knitting)

Worked on:
Sangria Shawl (knitting)
Flip-top mittens: one done; working on ribbing for the second one (knitting)
The second flip-top mitten is coming along slowly. Since I'm not sure whether my daughter can even wear them due to her allergy problems with animal fibers, I'm not in a big hurry to finish these. And I had to take two steps back on the Sangria shawl due to a needle problem. I still haven't found the perfect needles to use for this shawl. I am now trying s…

Last Eye Candy Friday of the year...

Image! It's hard to believe the year is almost over! Here's my last installment of Eye Candy Friday:

This gorgeous glass mermaid was one of the gifts from my husband. While we both love the ocean, he's not quite into mermaids as much as I am (although he's kind of stuck with them since I have two cross-stitched mermaids hanging in our bedroom). However, we both love the mermaids by Lionel Chapital (Andaluzia Art Glass). This is the third Andaluzia piece my husband has given me. I have another mermaid hanging in my bathroom and a beautiful seahorse sculpture.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours unearthing my sewing room. It's still a little chaotic, but its far better than it was when I started. I did manage to get the leftover Christmas fabric put away, as well as a bunch of stray knitting needles. I "found" two quilt tops that need to be sandwiched and quilted, as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright quilt that is ready for quilting. I'd tucked them away into a …

Christmas gifts revealed...

In previous posts, I mentioned that I had crafted some gifts for a friend, Now that she has received them, I can finally show pictures of them.

Here's part one of her gift: a Christmas pillow I made using a Pine Mountain Designs kit.

I love their kits -- they always look great when they're finished. I love the fabrics and finishing that they use.

Here's part two: a cowboy Santa ornament.

I used one of my favorite patterns for the ornament. It was originally in Southwest Crafts, a magazine that was only around for a year or so (1989-1990). I love the cowboy boots and hat! I used a strip of leather as the hanger and treated the raw edges of the fabric with a touch of fabric glue so they wouldn't unravel.

I enjoyed doing these two cross stitch projects. Maybe it's time to add a cross stitch project to my rotation. We'll see...

Yesterday, I took some time to visit my local yarn shop, Purlescence. I picked up a copy of Victorian Lace Today, some more Socks That Rock (Down…

Santa Rocks!

Santa was very good to me! Not only did I get the iPod shuffle I wanted (to use when I run), but I also got the KnitPicks Options needle set I've been coveting. And my daughter gave me a gift certificate to Burke Williams Spa for a facial (their facials are to die for!) and a very warm Johns Hopkins hoodie...I feel very spoiled!

After opening our presents, we went to my in-laws house to have lunch and visit. We got home late afternoon and kicked back...watching old movies and just enjoying the quiet. Oh, and I knitted a scarf for one of my daughter's friends.

Today the daughter went to visit friends. I made quick grocery run and cleaned up the remains of the unwrapping. I set up the new iPod and read a little. Now, I'm actually going to do some knitting for me, probably my lace shawl that has been stuffed in a knitting bag for several weeks.

I like this being on vacation thing...I can pretty much do whatever I want, when I want. I could get used to this!

[Happy|Merry] holiday_of_choice and Peace to All...

In our house, we celebrate Christmas day. It's always been a special time for our family, although some years it can get a bit scattered due to various obligations to parents, grandparents, etc. This year, we'll spend time with my husband's parents for part of the day; we were there yesterday to see some family members who couldn't visit today.

I finished packing all the gift items on Saturday. The chocolate is stored in the refrigerator until it's time to deliver the bags. Here's what it looked like yesterday before we started delivering them:

Keep in mind that 6 small and two specialty bags have already been delivered and are not in the picture. Also, the number of bags increased to 26: 9 small bags, 15 large bags, and 2 specialty. I made an extra one for my sister who was in town for the 49er game and another for our daughter's good friend who's in town from L.A.

I'm up before everyone, as usual, enjoying the peace of the early morning and admiri…

Eye Candy Friday, Christmas-style

In honor of the fast approaching day... (click to see larger versions)
A snowflake cookie...
Our Christmas tree, sans star (our daughter will put this on when she gets home)...

...and some Christmas candles

Last night I was up late packing the gift bags for work. Now, there were only six for work, but I end having to pack up everyone else's cookies, biscotti, and sugared nuts just to make sure that everyone gets at least a sample. The grand total this year is 24: 9 small bags, 13 large bags, and 2 specialty (one soap-only and one with only 5 cookies -- these were by request). Not the highest number I've ever done, but it's close!

Tonight, I'm going to wrap presents and not look at baked goods for one night!

Are we there yet?

Adeste Biscotti...


Last night, I frosted the cookies and put chocolate on the 4 kinds of biscotti I baked over the weekend. I used white chocolate topped with ground pistachios for the Pistachio-Cranberry biscotti. All the rest got semisweet chocolate; the Double Espresso biscotti got an added bonus of chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans as a topping. I wish I'd had enough energy to take a picture of it all last night -- oh, well!

I made the last batch of chocolate bark. I made pistachio-cranberry in semisweet chocolate. I made a lot of pistachio items this time because my boss (who owns a pistachio ranch) gave me 3 pounds to use in my baking. I still have a ton left, but they make a great snack!

I also made a batch of Winter Solstice soap as a gift for someone, which I delivered today.

Tonight I pack everything into boxes or bags so I can deliver my presents to coworkers tomorrow. I'm looking forward to being done with this all so I can find my kitchen floor under it's layer of flour,…

Red and green, not just for Christmas decorations...

...they are also the colors of my fingernails. Gel food dyes work really well.

After frosting all the sugar cookies last night, my hands look frightening. Aside from being very dry because they are washed many times, they are also lovely shades of red and green, with a little blue thrown in. It will wear off quickly, thank goodness. But, I have lovely, green Christmas tree and cactus cookies, pretty yellow stars, blue moons, and, of course, white snowflakes.

I also made a batch of peppermint bark and a batch of Rocky Road candy. I love these because they are so simple--melt the chocolate, add stuff to them, and chill!

Tonight, I add the final touches to the snowflakes (edible glitter and pearl luster dust) and put chocolate on half of the biscotti. Then, it's time to start packing up all this stuff! Yay!

Short, but nice visit from the brother...

Image my brother arrived last night 5 minutes after I got home from work. Perfect timing! It was take-out for dinner, but that was fine.

While we chatted, I rolled the truffles and placed them in their little foil cups. My brother tested the Chile-Chocolate version and approved!

I did the finishing work on the last Christmas gift, gift-wrapped everything, and got it ready for shipping. This morning, I braved the Post Office to mail it. Now, normally I would have sent it FedEx or UPS, but the recipient will be out of town when it would arrive by one of those methods (no comments about getting it done and sent before today! ).

So, I stand in line at the Post Office...did I mention that they were on half power and only one terminal was working? That was OK, there were only 4 people in front of me and no one had more that 3 boxes. 30 minutes later, I'm next in line and the lights go out. ACK! But the terminal is still working...I only have this one package and I'm paying cash. So the…

So, what does 450 cookies look like?

...something like this (ok, not quite 450 but what's 2 or 3 between friends):

Here's a closer look at the cookies at the far end of the table (Pistachio Pinwheels and Spumoni Slices, with some Mexican Wedding cookies on the fringes):

I had never taken pictures of my baking frenzy. Somewhere I do have a picture of the pasta I used to make at Christmas, but not of the cookies.

Anyway, it was a full weekend.

Saturday was devoted to cookies -- Mexican Wedding cookies in three variations (117 classic, 120 chocolate, 86 cherry-pistachio), 60 Cinnamon Coins, 41 Pistachio Pinwheels, 80 Spumoni Slices, and 180 green spritz. I also went Christmas shopping.

Sunday was supposed to be biscotti day, but I ran out of steam on Saturday to bake the sugar cookies. So, first I baked 97 sugar cookies; they still need to be frosted, so I'll do that later in the week. Then I made biscotti -- 60 Almond-Grand Marnier, 61 Hazelnut-Chocolate, 66 Pistachio-Cranberry, and 64 Double-espresso. While these …

Eye Candy Friday...12/15

This weeks' contribution:

This poinsettia is on my desk at work; I have its twin at home.

I am way behind on my baking, so I'll have to really haul you-know-what to catch up this weekend. The only thing I've baked this week are a batch of biscotti and an eggnog bread pudding for the office party today. I couldn't figure out way I was so behind this year, when last year went so smoothly. Then I realized that last year I only had outside commitments for two nights of the week (yoga and a standing IM session with a friend). Adding a third commitment (Pilates) really takes a chunk out of my baking time, not to mention my knitting and craft time, and "rest" time. Next week, I don't have either class so maybe I'll make my deadline!

On the knitting front, my daughter has discovered that Alpaca causes her to itch, too...not as bad as wool, but it's still uncomfortable. So I guess I need to switch to cotton or bamboo yarns for her. She'll try out the alpa…

Christmas prep...

...that's my weekend in a nutshell. My husband had an unplanned trip to Boston, so I was able to spend as most of the time in the kitchen or decorating for Christmas.

I made fruitcakes, a batch of eggnog bread, and a batch of pumpkin bread. I also made the dough for 8 different kinds of cookies and have them stashed in the fridge. Any cookie dough that has to be chilled before baking is a candidate for this treatment. This way I can bake a batch of cookies after work without having to worry about making the dough -- just pull out a package, slice or shape the cookies and bake. I also made the first batch of Amaretto-Cinnamon Nuts.

Next weekend will be devoted to biscotti and the cookies that don't need to be chilled beforehand (like spritz).

Boy, was my husband surprised when he got home yesterday! Christmas kind of exploded in our house. LOL! When he opened the fridge, all he saw was containers of cookie dough! And the freezer is full of Christmas fruitcakes and breads!

It will…

Sky Candy Friday :-)

The sky was amazing this morning, so I decided it was Eye Candy Friday-worthy:

This was taken at 8:30 this morning. These clouds were a precursor to the rain that started at 2:00pm.

This weekend I start the cookie frenzy. Due to some family issues, I've been unable to start before now. I'm seriously behind, not only with mybaking but with Christmas decorating. My poor tree is still bare! What this means is that crafty stuff will be put on the back burner until I can catch up on both of these tasks. At least, I love doing both of them!

Hey, where'd Monday go?

OK, yesterday totally got away from me. Between a little online shopping and work, time just disappeared!

This past weekend was devoted to finishing my daughter's advent calendar.

I packed it and the 24 little ornaments to go in the pockets, and shipped it yesterday. Yes!

I also finished the left flip-top mitten and started the right one. Here's a picture of it "closed":

and one of it "open":

It feels really soft and warm. I still need to sew on a button or something for the loop to attach to, but I'll probably wait for my daughter to pick out what she wants.

On Sunday, My husband and I went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our tree. It's only 8 feet this seemed like most of the full trees were between 5 and 8 feet, while the taller trees were on the skinny side. Oh well, the one we picked has a nice shape, it's nice and full, and it has a nice top to put the star on (last year the tree was so big that we never got the star on it). …

Eye Candy Friday, Happy December, and November Recap

Well, that was a fast month! In honor of December and Eye Candy Friday, here's a small portion of our tree from last year.

It was 12 feet 9 inches tall (after trimming the tip top branch by about 6 inches). I've promised my husband that we'd get a shorter tree this year! LOL!

Here's the November recap, such as it is!
Absolutely nothing!Worked on:2 Christmas presents (can't say what they are or for whom!)Sangria lace shawlHydrangea socks (still!!)Paint It Black quilt (I'll probably rename this quilt...just haven't come up with anything better yet)
Advent Calendar for my daughter (I'll finish this tomorrow and get it shipped ASAP)
Flip-top mittens for my daughter (one mitten almost done)This weekend marks the beginning of holiday baking. First up are the fruitcakes and other breads (pumpkin, eggnog, or whatever else I decide to make.) And maybe we'll get our tree!

Have a great weekend!