Thursday, December 31, 2009

Critter Introductions- Copper

Meet Copper. He's a purebreed Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie for short. His owner couldn't take care of him anymore so my dad's friend took him in since his owner was his wife's aunt. Well, my dad's friend was going on vacation they farms their other shelties out to their children so we ended up with him for two weeks. Just a few months before our lab mix passed away and we had been wanting another dog. He got along with Max so well we got to keep him. He was quite at first but he found his voice and barks at everything! Birds, people, anything. He's a smart dog though, barking at the front door during feeding time so Max comes running to see what's going on. In the mean time Copper steals Max's food.
I feel bad for him. He has the natural instict to herd and work but he doesn't have the chance to do it. Maybe this summer I'll get him to help me in the garden.
His favorite things are cat poop, barking at the outside cats, 'cookies', and kisses. One of his absolute dislikes is being brushed. This is a picture of him after he is groomed.

Smell That?

I'm weird. I have this thing with that farm smell. Yes, I'm talking about that cattle manure, chicken poop, sprinkled with desiel smell. I almost died and went to heaven today when I good looking guy came into my work smelling like it. It must be that it takes me back to when my brother worked on a local dairy farm and I use to go around and look at everything. And fresh milk! Oh the taste! We got my most favorite cat there. I sort of stole one of their farm cats. My black lab/golden reteiver mix was from that farm. There as just so many memories bundled up in that smell.
The guy made me want to hug him or steal is sweat shirt.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Critter Introductions- Max

My life revolves around pets. I could not stand being without an animal. Some animals that have owned me are turtles, cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, rats, and fish.
Currently I live alongside of two dogs and six cats. I'd like to introduce you to everyone.
This is Max whom we affectionately call Maxwell when he's being extra adorable. We got him from a dog boarding kennel that my mom, sister, and I worked at. Sadly in the beginning of his life, Max as a stray and spent time in a animal shelter before someone adopted him. The old lady that adopted him use to board him and her other dogs at the kennel. Before she passed on she asked us to take Max. We gladly accepted. He made himself a true prince here. His passions are squeaky toys, his two layered bed, and cat poop. As for his breed he's in the category with all the other mysteries such as Gonzo, a Whatever.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Nifty Knitting Needle Roll-Up Case

So I had ran into a problem with my knitting needles. They were all over my room and I had no way of keeping track of all of them. Fed up with the mess I looked in the store and online for a suitable case. A decent case cost about $50 and the cheaper ones where too small. Finally, I decieded to make my own!
Click here for the instructions.
I thought that some of the instructions where hard to understand but it was easy to find away that worked. On mine, there are 17 needle slots ranging from 3/4" to 2" and a pocket big enough to store my circular needles and odds and ends such as stitch markers and tapestery needles.

28" x 26" cover fabric
28" x 18" lining fabric
1 yard coordinating ribbon cut in half

I suggest having your fabric store cut you the longest side, 28", because you will have enough to make a matching knitting bag. I'll show you have in another post. I believe it took me about two hours to make but I'm pretty inexperiance with the sewing machine.

Merry Christmas!

I was thankful that I only had to work until four yesterday. Knowing that if I stopped at the grocery store after work it would be a zoo, I stopped in before work to pick up a couple of things. Well, my debit card wouldn't go through, which is strange, so I stopped back after work and got what I needed. I'm sparing you the unpleasant details of this story which caused me to be 10 minutes late to work.
When I got home I rallied to get the last two of my nephew's bibs sewn (I made mine without the pockets), I'll show pictures of him in one later. I also made a nice knitting needle roll up case which I'm very proud of. I'm thinking about opening an etsy shop to sell some odds and ends things that I make. I'm really learning to put quality effort into the things that I make. The pockets in the case are actually straight! I have some left over fabric that I'll make a matching bag with. What knitter wouldn't want one? It only cost me $4.18! It's not 100% finished yet. I need a little bit more ribbon that I thought I needed.
I'm not done with making presents yet. I still have my two Cold Antler Forum people to send a gift to. I'm thinking aprons, soap, and dish cloths.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Handmade Christmas-Part 4 Knitted Dish Cloths

There's less than a week until Christmas but you haven't found or made one last thing for the people you are giving to. No problem. Make them dish/wash cloths! They're easy, cost little, and are fun to make. I have tired to make up my own pattern but they weren't very uniform and looked sort of messy. It wasn't until Burbs and the Bees posted about making dishcloths for herself that I found the patteren I like.
You'll have to sign up for the website but it's worth the few minutes that it take. This site has literly thousands of patterns. Not all are free but the ones that aren't free are a reasonable price.
For some reason my dish cloths didn't knit up as big as the pattern shows. I'm using a size 7 needle so maybe if I go up a needle size it would work.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009...Opps!

Where has fall gone? I guess this has been at the back of my mind lately. I've read a few books, not as many as I would have wished but some. I want to try to crank out another one by Monday. I'll probably choose a fast pace Dan Brown. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It's been in the 30s the past few days, which actually it rather nice. I like being cold and able to throw on more clothes than be hot and trying to take off clothes. You can only go so far. The down side of it all is that I get into my car and I have to wear gloves, and a hat until I travel about five minutes. I would warm the car up but the gas that it wastes makes me cringe.
Yesterday, I went to a huge thrift store and bought two pairs of knitting needles for $1.5o each! I'm very picking about my needles and I prefer one brand, Boyle. I don't know why. I guess it has the sterotypical feel about it that feels so right. I mean, the ones with plastic on the top do not feel as good. At a$1.50 a pair it no longer makes sense to purchase new ones for twice as much. Besides, if they lasted through one person they can last through another.
So, lately I've been hearing hyp about a snow storm heading my way. I honestly did not know about it today. I'm more of a day to day person anyway, unless I wanted to do something outside that day. It's funny how people lose their minds of snow storms. Honesty, if you live where it snows then why do you wait until the last minute to buy a snow shovel and ice melt. The busiest time during the winter at the hardware store is when it's going to snow, and it's not all shovels and ice melt. Weird.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Number 4

Well, I'm up to four layers on the bed. A knit blanket, a felt blanket, a comforter, and a crochet blanket. I have turned the heat on but it was mainly the little space heater for a few minutes with the door closed. I'm thinking about making bed warmers with rice and fabric, one for me and one for my one dog.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Handmade Christmas-Part 3 Hats

What person wouldn't want to a nicely knit hat for Christmas and who wouldn't want to make one! I still consider myself and beginner at knitting but I'm finding myself looking more into the easy level. What couldn't be more easy and pratical then a knit beanie?
The Lion brand yarn has a really nice website that has tons of crochet and knitting intructions. After I picked out the yarn I wanted to use, Jiffy, I found this hat to knit from their website. If you already haven't, sign up to view the patterns.
One could probably knit this up in one day if they are not distrubed and knit a little bit faster then me. I estimate that it took me about 6-8 hours to make and cost me $3 for the yarn, which there is plenty left for another hat. This makes a pretty big hat so switching to size 7 needles or just casting on 80 stiches instead of the 100, as recommended by the reviewers, should give you a better size.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Handmade Christmas-Part 2 Cards

Making your own Christmas cards may sound like something hard to do but it really isn't! And it's not at all expensive. For the simple ones I made it cost be about 50 cents each.
Festive scrap booking paper
Pre-folded cards with envolpes
Computer paper
Exacto knife/ultility knife

For the cards that I made I traced the card out on the wrong side of the scrapbook paper. Cut it out then measure 1.5 cm away from edge all the way around. Cut out the rectangle you made with your excato knife. Glue border onto the front of the card and the other regtangle in the inside of the card to the right. Take your stamp, whatever one you decided to use, ink it and stamp the front of you card inside the border. On the computer paper write your message. Cut your message out and glue it on. Ta da!
If you want, you can take card stock paper and fold it to make your own cards.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Novel Idea

I'm giving my novel a rest before I start to edit it. Everyday different ideas that I want to do cross my mind. One thing remainds clear, I need to put more farm into the book. Right now, it's just jello, you can move it but it stays the same. I can't wait to take the wrecking ball to it. so far, I plan on scrapping the beginning and rewriting it so that it will go to a different tune. In other words, write out the grandmother that was suppose to bring her to the land and make it a different reason why on earth she'd want to move. Most of it I'll keep the same but details such as learning to cook will become more troublesome amoung other things. She'll still have the face down with the rooster but it'll be a little different.
I'm dreading editing the thing. No one said it was going to be easy. Writing the first draft was the easy part.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New York's smallest apartment

Recently I've been wanting a nice small house with enough room for me and some animals. This New York couple got it smaller! Their apartment is only 175 square feet!

A Handmade Christmas-Part 1 Soap

This is the first post in an installment of posts that will feature handmade Christmas/Holiday presents. I love being fugal and giving more for less these are some ways that I found how to do just that, while also being eco-friendly.

It can be intemidating but it shouldn't be. The easiest way to make soap is to do the melt 'n' pour method. I bought a brick of melt 'n' pour soap at Michaels for about $7 with a coupon then the scent for about $3. You don't have to buy the molds because you could always use containers and cookie cutters. After it cools in the mold you can get creative with the packaging.
I reused a paper bag crunched it up and made a little tag noting the scent. Then I wrapped it in the paper bag, slipped the card on top and tied it up with a ribbon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In Romancing the Fiddle

Back in September, I rented a violin so I could fiddle. The rent was reasonable, $52 for 4 1/2 months plus a damage waiver. At the music store I was presented with a cheap Yamaha violin made in China. It was a disapointment but it would serve. I bought a book to learn with and got through a few lessons until I noticed that the violin did not sound right so I stopped playing until I got to the music store.
Meanwhile, my account was never charged for the rental. Last month they sent me a notice saying that my card was declined. It took them two months to find this out. Okay, not problem. The next day I get another notice saying that they were going to send it to a collection agency. That day I faxed them my card number and said to correct my last name. How does one get "Blanc" out of "Bouc"? Anyway, my account was still not charged. Friday, I went to the music store and complained. The owner, bless her soul, called her rep. I get home and there's a letter from the collection agency saying that I know owe $15 on top of the $52. I immediatly called the music store and she said that they'll get things smoothed over. Today, I go to check my online back accounts and found that they took the $52 plus the $15 out. So why was I charged and extra $15 when I sent the corrected card information to them before I got the notice that they were going to charge me $15?
In other fiddling news, I found a fiddle teacher! The owner at the music store gave me a rough estimate of $45 a month....for a once a month lesson. I'll have to check again with her but I might do it anyway.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's done. Okay my story is not yet finished by National Novel Writting Month 2009 is over. And I'm a winner! It's 50,000 words of hopefully okay writing. I still have editting ahead of me and I have yet to write the ending. I have to admit, I really didn't think I could do it. The exciting thing is that one of the prizes this year is to get a proof copy of your novel.
Now that it is over I have time to plan the garden. I definatly want to be on the game when spring comes. This year I need to scale it down and not let my dad do anything. He's the reason why it didn't work out as well last year.
So, that's it for now. I hope to post more recipes and ideas.