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Showing posts from December, 2014

New Year's Eve, 2014...

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...and I'm hoping to stay awake until midnight. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Today's sunrise:


The Husband has been sick since before Christmas. I've managed to fight off the worst of it, but my stomach has been upset for several days. And my energy level is way down.

Needless to say, I have not accomplished as much as I wanted to since Christmas. I did get the cookie packages mailed on Monday. However, very little crafting has occurred and very little reading. I've been a slug for the last few days.

Right now, Sombra and I are snuggled under several blankets on the couch, watching mindless Hallmark movies like we have been for a couple of days. I'm trying to finish knitting the Loopy Academy mittens, but I'm not holding our much hope that I can finish them by midnight. Oh, well...


At least the Christmas tree is ready for the new year:


See you all on the other side!

Merry Christmas!

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...it's been busy around here for the last week.  As we wait for the Daughter to join us, I'll do a quick post.

All the chocolate was finished last weekend and I did all of the packaging over the next couple of days.  Some photos:

Chocolate sugar cookies:


Sugar cookies:


Chocolate bark:


We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner last night with the Husband's parents, his sister and her husband, and the Daughter. The cioppino was yummy and we all enjoyed ourselves.

We'll spend part of the day with his parents today and just keep things low key.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Happy Holidays!

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Eye Candy Friday...

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...and my last workday of the year! I don't go back to work until January 5th. Yay!

Today's picture is from 2007. I think this was taken the last time we went to a Christmas Tree farm to get a tree. (We buy them at the nursery now.)


It was a perfect day in the Santa Cruz mountains, blue sky and not too cold.

Up this weekend: I'm in the home stretch. Tomorrow is chocolate day. My friend Linda is coming over in the afternoon to help with the chocolate bark and fudge. I have 5 kinds of bark to make and the macadamia lime fudge. Making bark is fun, but messy!

I'm toying with the idea of making one more cookie, but we'll see how much time I have left!

Once I have finished the chocolate, it's time to start packaging things. I've talked about the packing process before. It's pretty time-consuming. But it's fun to watch all of those goodie bags filling up!

After that, it's time to clean up the house and find the kitchen so we can make Christmas Eve dinn…

Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

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...running at full speed to get everything set up at work as well as get Christmas done!
Hardly any crafting has happened. I'm very behind on the stealth project that is supposed to be a Christmas gift. Arg!
I've checked my spreadsheet and I'm officially 147 cookies behind last year. I need to bake another cookie to make up for this.
I baked 747 biscotti on Saturday. That's 86 biscotti more than last year. I thought I had made less than last year, like I did with the cookies. Score!
On Sunday, I frosted all of the sugar cookies and put chocolate on half of the biscotti. I could seriously use another 3 or 4 racks for this process. I used every rack I own and it was not enough!
Last night, I did round 2 for the snowflakes. I piped all the details.
I realized that I was almost our of the edible glitter for the snowflakes. I went out at lunchtime today and bought two vials of it so I can finish the snowflakes tonight.
I'm behind on the sugared nuts, but I'm not too worri…

Eye Candy Friday...

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...we survived the massive rain storm that hit our area yesterday without any roof leaks or flooding in the courtyard (although the Husband was [thisclose] to pumping out excess water).

Here is what the sunrise looked like on Monday 12/8:


Up this weekend: Tomorrow is biscotti day. I need to seriously get in gear and get those baked. I'm missing Spin-In, which makes me sad. There's just no way I can manage that and stay on track (sigh).

On Sunday, it's chocolate and frosting day. I'm going to try a new method for the frosting that I hope will make things go faster. The snowflakes, of course, are always the biggest time-sink.

I figure that I'm about 200 cookies behind from where I was last year. One reason is that I got half as many Pistachio Pinwheels as last year.  The other is that there are 2 cookies I ran out of time to make. I need to figure out how I can squeeze those in this weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday, holiday style...

...and by that I mean that I'm not working on crafts for any extended period of time. A little here...a little there...that's it! The biggest WIPs are the Christmas decorations and the baking.

I spent some time this morning trimming some loose branches at the bottom of the Christmas tree so I could look underneath to see where the stand is leaking. I didn't see any visible leaks, so I decided to mop up any remaining water and carefully dry the stand. Then I puttied all of the fastener holes to make them more water-tight. I carefully added more water to the stand and so far, it seems to be holding. I'll check it tonight to see if it held through the day. If it did, we're ready to hang ornaments.

Over the years, I've discovered I can do most of the baking during the weekends so I don't have to try and bake after work. That gives me a little time to rest and do other things.

Doing all the baking in 5 or 6 days means that I have to be very organized in the kitc…

Weekend report and a finished object...

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...I finally got a couple of pictures of the handspun.

This is Sweetwater Spring [Ravelry]:


and a close up...


Specs:
Started 11/1/14;
Finished 11/29/14;
Merino-Tencel top (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
160.1 yds, 13 WPI

I probably won't be able to spin again until after Christmas. I'm skipping Spin In this month so I can finish the baking.

So, the weekend report: I spent both days working on the non-biscotti portion of the baking.  I made:
7 kinds of cookies, a total of 668 cookies
180 of them need to be frosted (that's will happen on Sunday)Grand Marnier Pecans, about 3 pounds In addition, we bought our Christmas tree and set it up in the living room. Set-up includes rearranging the furniture and rugs to make room for it. I hung the lights on Sunday, but we're holding off on the ornaments for a bit. We have a leak in the tree stand and need to plug that before I hang anything. Not a big deal...it's happened before. It always leaks around a fastener opening...just don&#…

November 2014 recap...

...finally.

Finished:

11/1 Wurm Hat (knitting) [Ravelry] 1/29 Sweetwater Spring handspun (spinning) [Ravelry
Merino-Tencel (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
160.1 yd chain-ply, WPI TBDBooks: Wounded, Shannon MayerArchangel's Shadow, Nalini SinghHeartsong, Debbie MacomberYes, Chef, Marcus SameulssonThe Winter Sea, Susana KearsleyA Shift in Water, Patricia EddyShiv Crew, Laken CaneBlood and Bite, Laken CaneEscaped, Lizzy FordStrange Trouble, Laken CaneStarted:
11/3 Loopy Mittens (knitting)  [Ravelry]11/24 Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry] Worked on:
Stealth projectHalloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry] Works In Progress, did not work on:
Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint) IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry] UFOs/Hibernation:
Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry] Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Goi…

Eye Candy Friday...

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...I had big plans of photographing the latest handspun and doing a F.O. Friday post. And that's as far as we got...big plans, little action.

As the days count down to my end of the year vacation, the number of  things I have to finish by the 19th increases. Most of the increases are work things, as the Christmas tasks are pretty much the same every year. This means that by the time I get home, my mind is exhausted and I don't feel like doing anything except eat dinner and sleep. So today, you get a small eye candy installment.

We have a jade plant in our courtyard that is several years old (read: more than 15, maybe more than 20). The Husband cuts it back periodically so it doesn't outgrow the area it's in.  Sometimes it flowers and looks like this:


This was taken after a recent rain storm.  As was this photo of the Lucky Lantern Red Abutilon that is also in our courtyard:


Up this weekend: It's Cookie Time!  All baking, all the time!  I will take a small break to …

Well, hello December...

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...November went by way too quickly!

Thanksgiving dinner went very well. I managed to get everything except the vegetables, salad, and turkey done ahead of time. That made things much easier on T-day.  Here's a peek at the stuffing/dressing:


and the table:


All the food tasted great and we  had lots of leftovers, enough to send home two care packages.  I asked my mom to bring one pie and she brought two, plus a jello dish. I had made pumpkin pies and a cranberry cake, so we  had an overabundance of desserts!  My mom made my favorite coconut cream pie plus a mixed berry pie. They were both yummy!

On Friday, it was off to the Christmas tree farm with the Daughter's BFF and her family. It was a clear day and there were lots of people out. We enjoyed a hot meal of lasagne and tons of munchies.  The traffic was a nightmare going home, so it was a very long day.

On Saturday, The Husband and I decided to lay low and recover from the previous 3 days. I managed to finish plying Sweetwat…