Monday, October 31, 2011

What did the ghost say to the bee?

Scroll down.....

It's coming......

It's good.....

It's here.....



Sunday, October 30, 2011


Fun news!!

I'll be participating in a new project called STITCHED. It's a brand new online workshop featuring 20 fabric artists. I have been asked to do a workshop creating one of my recycled wool pillows.

I'll supply you with more details about the entire project as more information is available - but it's sure to be cool!  Personally, I've got a lot of work to do for yet - so wish me luck!  I'm so very nervous about doing my part - but I am truly honored to be a part of such an exciting opportunity.  Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh......hang on - it's going to be a crazy, wild, awesome ride! :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mom's Apple Pie

Every fall my mom would make apple pies and put them in the freezer. She would work all day and make oodles of pies. She would give some to my sister and I, plus she would have her own seemingly never-ending-supply in their freezer, ready to pull out at any time and pop in the oven for that homemade delight.

Since my mom's passing, my sister Sue and I knew we wanted to continue with mom's apple pie tradition. But we couldn't make just ANY apple pie. It had to be just like mom's (who, of course, learned to make pies from her mother). So with the assistance of an apple-pie-recipe-card-hand-written-by-a-10-year-old-as-exactly-told-to-her-by-her-grandma-recipe (but, as you can imagine, I missed a few details, but I still totally treasure that recipe card) and the famous Norske Nook cookbook (well we Norwegians think it's famous!), Sue and I feel like we've finally come darn close to mastering the art of the our mom's perfect apple pie! And it only took us two years...this is only our third year of our new tradition.

There. Now you know the history of our apple pie - so sit back with your steamy cup of coffee and enjoy a day of apple pie making with Sue and I... (and I'm sorry - spoiler alert - but you don't get a sweet piece of our pie when you're done).

Sue at the helm of the crust production.

Some required ingredients. Note: Sometimes if the recipe calls for lard, Crisco works great too! 

No, this isn't a marketing plug for Surefine sugar, it was just a fun picture. But, heck fire, not a bad idea....I think I'll drop Surefine a note.

Norske Nook to the rescue.

If you don't have a good pie crust, you ain't got a good pie!

I'm busy over on the apple slicing work line. Did I mention we always have a fun fall outing the day prior to "pie day" and venture to the neighboring town, LaCresecent, MN (Applefest capital) to get our apples at the ever popular Bauer's Market.  You won't believe what else we found there this year.....but I'm not telling you yet.....that's for a post next week!

Slices and slices of apples. My fingertips were kind of tender the next day!

My, what a lovely round of soon-to-be perfect crust.

After adding just the right amount of apple coating, we mounded them high.

I said high! And don't forget to fill in those sides, those apples really bake down in the oven.

This year our great friend Kim gave us a pie-top-stencil that her sister had given to her before she passed at a too young age. It was so sweet of her to share it with are you kidding, of course, we just HAD to use it! One big apple in the center for a great steam hole - and little apples all around. Could it get any cuter?

One hour at 350 degrees later and ooooohhhhhh.....warm apple pie goodness!

Can't you just taste it? Yes - another year of family-loving apple pie-making goodness. Thanks mom. Love ya.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Red Bowl - Version Hydrangea

I love a beautiful hydrangea all the through the summer - but, what beauty it has in the fall - and in a Red Bowl!

Stayed tuned, I can't wait to show you what I did last weekend! I'll be posting about it in a day or two...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Unfinished Business

Often you hear people say that they have projects that they have started and have not finished. And they say it like it's a bad thing.

Sure - I'm one of those people. Uh, you'd probably have a stroke if you saw how many things I have started and not yet finished. But sometimes it's a good thing.

Years ago - and I mean years - probably about 8 or even more - I made little stockings for Christmas ornaments. I simply made them out of cotton quilt batting and then rubbed them with a little tea dye. They then were finished off by a small strand of mismatched pearl, white, and clear beads as a hanger. I gave many of them as gift tags incorporated as part of their gifts that year.

Earlier this summer when cleaning out a couple things, I ran across this dozen or so of the little stockings that I never finished. I was in prime cleaning mode and promptly threw them away. A short time later, I shook my head clear of that nonsense and came to my senses. I proceeded to dig them out of the trash basket and decided that I would make a little stocking bunting out of them.

It turned out kind of cute. Not bad anyway, for a 8-year-long project!

(Sorry, bad lighting on photo-shoot day!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Red Bowl - Version Pumpkin

Ahhh...looks like it's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Their Sweater Cup Runneth Over

Wow - I guess the initial plea for penguin sweaters only went out about five days ago - and already there has been such a outpouring of penguin love that they have more sweaters than they need. But they are telling people that if you've already gotten one made, please send it and they will be placed in a reserve.

That is great news, indeed!

It is so heartwarming to hear that those cute little duffers will be properly clothed to help them heal, but it's just a tad sad that I wasn't able to move my knitting needles in time to provide one myself. However, I pray that they are never needed again.

You can read just a little more about the small yarn shop that started the campaign right here. Cheers to them and swift, caring knitters!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Knitting for Penguins

It's so sad and so cute all at the same time!

These little (fairy) penguins on New Zealand's coast need our help. An oil spill has left their environment unclean and dangerous. Volunteers are working hard to save them and take care of them - but they are asking for little knit wool sweaters for the oil-soaked babies. The sweaters help keep them warm and also prevent them from ingesting oil while trying to clean their feathers.

I understand there is a new need for more sweaters - so if you're interested in getting your knitting needles moving (I know mine will be!), here's the pattern. More information can be found at Skeinz, a New Zealand yarn store. Also, look here for more information about fairy penguins who were saved after a 2000 oil spill).

Penguin Jumper in 8ply - Must be 100% Wool Yarn

1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
  • Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.K1, P1 to end of row. Repeat this row 7 times. Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)
  • Continue until work measures 15 cms.
  • Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
  • Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
  • Leave on needle.
  • Make second side the same.
  • Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.
  • Cast off.
  • Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed).
  • Flat elastic ok to use.

Keeping the Bubbly Warm

I'm not someone who likes wine, but I have some friends who do. They recently (okay, if truth be known, it was about 2 1/2 months ago) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Since I don't see them too often, I'm safe in presenting their gift at a later date.

Now, as I said - I don't drink wine, so imagine how confused I was heading into the liqueur store looking for the perfect bottle. With a little help from the clerk (who I swear headed me to the more expensive bottles on purpose), I happily headed home with my bottle.

I had already decided that I would make a little wool stocking hat and scarf for the bottle. Personally, I don't see the need to give a bottle a hat and scarf but I thought they would get a kick out of it. And, heck, a lot of people don't see the need to cover their lotion dispenser in felted wool, but I do. each his own!  :-)

A snip here, a stitch there, and a little handmade pompom right on the tip, it was done. I think their little bottle will keep nice and toasty until - they decide to chill it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Red Bowl - Version Rosehips

Did you think the Red Bowl series was over? I guess lied. Back by popular demand (okay, it was just one - but that was enough for me!).....The Red Bowl.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Pumpkin Love

Who doesn't love pumpkins in the fall? You see them everywhere - but do you get tired of seeing them? I sure don't! Here's a little peek at my back stairs...because I'm in pumpkin-love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Red Bowl - Version Bittersweet

Ah yes, the third (and I promise, final) fall version of the the red bowl. Bittersweet. I love bittersweet. I have some growing in my yard and love to see the little pops of orange and red in the fall.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Scrappy Pieces

I was messing around trying to figure out what to do with some pin cushions this weekend and decided to try a little scrappy-action.

I used small scraps of felted wool and a black bead to create a non-pattern-pattern and I have to admit I kind of like the outcome. They are playful, colorful, and quite fun to create, and the perfect way to use up tiny scraps that I can't bear to part with!

I put these on Etsy today!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Red Bowl - Version Leaf

I couldn't help joining the millions of people enjoying and taking photos of the fall colors. My thrift store red bowl came in very handy for holding a beautiful fall leaf.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Red Bowl

As I was digging through my shed the other day I ran across some wooden bowls that I had probably snatched greedily during one of my thrift stores adventures thinking I couldn't live without them. It's always funny how that works - because I've lived okay without even remembering I had them...until now.

Two of them were painted a beautiful, bright, glossy red. It happened to be a sunny fall day and I laid one on my little garden bistro table. It was cute, cheery, and made me smile. I'm sharing the smile.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

This year is the Dick Van Dyke Show's 50th Anniversary! Oh dear - how can that be? Seems like it was just another program on TV - now it's "retro"!

But here's a little Etsy treasury salute to Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, and all the other folks that made that show so much fun.

(Please note:  I thought I was pretty darn clever adding the black walnut. Remember that episode where it was a dream and it was all about walnuts?)

PS. Take a good look at that pencil drawing of Dick Van Dyke - what talent!