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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ravens For Halloween Doily

I recently ran across a doily made by a Yahoo member and immediately fell in love with it~ I researched and found an issue with the pattern, "Doves in Flight".
This one was made by catrazzy8 in a Halloween theme, perfect!

Ravens For Halloween Doily | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Ravens For Halloween Doily

I started on mine, and have got this far today. I'm going full-blown Halloween colors, per DH's instructions :)

I also started on a pair of Wisconsin Winter Socks by Carol Anderson and Kristi Williams , for a friend who is undergoing chemo. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Multi and Print, colorway Autumn Print.

It is my hope that these will keep Ms. S's. Crossing Guard feeties warm during our cold Wisconsin Winters, and to lessen the effects of the chemo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chemo Coaster of the Month: Dainty Pineapples

Last  night I finished and blocked the 3rd in the series of Chemo Coaster of the Month:
Dainty Pineapples by Shobha Govindan
Leisure Arts #2395, Thread Coasters to Crochet

I've started "Tea Time" by Shobha Govindan for #4 in the series, which will be done in two-tone pinks and maybe a purple.

Tonight I fixed something new, quick and easy, for dinner, Birdseye Steamfresh Rotini and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce. I added a second bag of  Broccoli with Cheese Sauce for extra veggies,and served it alongside chicken flavor steamed long grain wild rice. It was a perfect, light meal for a perfect mild late-summer evening.

Igor enjoyed a bowl of rice after a hard day of playing Frisbee.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

*Note: Shown using grated beets. When using pureed beets, the cake will be more red, like a Red Velvet Cake. 

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: 1 piece)


  • Cake:
  • 1 pound beets (about 2 medium)m pureed
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

  • Frosting:
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, peel beets using a vegetable peeler. Grate beets, using the large holes of a grater, to measure 2 cups.
Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray.
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add beets; beat well. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Carefully peel off wax paper, and cool cake completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, beat orange rind, vanilla, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat).
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting; top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle nuts over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information

312 (30% from fat)
10.5g (sat 3.3g,mono 3g,poly 3.6g)

Simple Limoncello Recipe

Simple Limoncello Liqueur
  • 15 lemons
  • 2 bottles (750 ml) 100-proof vodka or grain alcohol
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 5 cups water

Wash and dry the lemons.
Zest lemons, making sure not to cut into the pith.
Combine one bottle of vodka and the zest to a 1-gallon mason or other glass jar. Save vodka liquor bottles and clean them thoroughly for later re-bottling.
Store the infusion in a cool, dry place 2-4 weeks. The longer the zest sits in the vodka, the more vibrant the color of the liquid.
next step (after 2+ weeks):
Combine sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil; cook until thickened to make a simple syrup. Let this mixture cool and add to the limoncello mixture.
Add the additional bottle of vodka, and let sit for another 2 weeks.
Step 3 (2 weeks later...):
When done aging, strain out the lemon zest and bottle the limoncello in the reserved vodka bottles.

Keep the limoncello in the freezer and serve icy cold.
Other uses:

  • Add to a vodka tonic for extra zing!
  • Add limoncello to a fresh mint mojito to make a lemon mint mojito.
  • Add to lemonade or iced tea.
  • Pour over fresh fruit salad.
  • just have a limoncello shot as a treat~
bon apetite!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Doilies Inspired By Nature

I have always loved creating doilies from ideas that sprout from my perennial gardens.

Poinsettia Coaster
Black-eyed Susan

I recently found a doily by Kathryn White that just struck me as nearly the most perfect doily ever!

I have a beautiful Stargazer Lily that comes back every July, and have plans to put this on my To-Do list next!

In the meantime, I have a new WIP goal. My next-door neighbor will be beginning a series of chemotherapy sessions, beginning tomorrow.  I am going to make her a new coaster for each session she completes, and present them to her after each session, one at a time.

Maybe this will brighten those stressful days while she's undergoing the chemo, while adding little accents to her glass shelves she is now assembling for a new wall-shhhhhhhhhhhh, Mum's the word!! ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Coasting Along, Singin' a Song....

My friend received her package today, and I'm happy to post pictures of what I've been up to-I didn't want to post before she got these, as I didn't want to ruin her surprise if she were to happen to "peek" at my blogs hehehee~
  Spring Buds by Shobha Govindan
Hibiscus Flower by Shobha Govindan

Seashell Ruffle by American Thread Company
Leisure Arts #2395, Thread Coasters to Crochet
Snow Crocus by Shobha Govindan
I'm working on Nancy's Socks, started the gusset this morning~ after rippiting the pattern row back a couple times (dropped stitches) I think I've got it~
Nancy's Socks by Wendy D. Johnson 
I'm anxiously awaiting a new shipment of crochet thread from; hopefully it will arrive early next week. I ordered some new colors for a doily project yet to be determined. The colorway will be black-to navy blue -to royal blue- to...TBD.
Tomorrow promises to be a nice day, so instead of vegging out in front of the TV, we may just hang out, outside.

Come Monday, my walking routine resumes; no more humidity keeping me indoors-we're nearing the end of the season and I am looking forward to Fall, my favorite time of year.

For now, I'll look forward to my daily visits with my Hummingbird Girl-this is her 3rd summer at our feeder.
Mr. Hummer better watch himself-Mrs. isn't far away...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Take a Ride in my Magic Radio Flyer

It's going on 10pm and is a muggy 73° outside. A heat advisory is in effect until Thursday, Aug 12, 9:00 PM. I'm postponing my morning walks until next week, just to be safe. My walking buddy is still going.

I got a call from our neighbors last Sunday morning; they were out for a Sunday drive when they ran across 2 childrens' wagons near Palmyra. I hoped in the Blazer and headed out to look for them. I found them in an older couples' front yard, chained to a tree along-side some garden tools and a very nice handled crock.

They had two wagons; one was a Radio Flyer #18, the other was a Blue Atlas. The Atlas really caught my eye, but was in sad shape with much rust, while the Radio Flyer was in good condition, albeit with a newer paint job on the wheels. I'm pretty sure the inside was also re-painted at some point.
This view shows the Radio Flyer with a cactus my Mom had originally planted in a similar Radio Flyer, back in 1968-69. I will have to dig out the photos of the wagon where it was once parked at the Old Homestead, for comparison.
Radio Flyer #18 classic red wagon
The wagon will serve a dual purpose: ease of transport to and from the garage in late Fall, and again in early Spring when we bring it back outside again. DH is going to drill a couple more holes (it has 2 holes in it now) and seal-coat them for added protection from further rusting.

I've started another Woodland Lace Doily, for myself, this time. This is one of my favorite little doilies, and will go under my Tiffany lamp, when done. Then I'll start on a Halloween theme doily.

This is last year's Halloween Black Cats Doily; I made two, one for myself and a pink one for my oldest daughter, CJ.
What shall I do next....a Spider Web Doily? This one was gifted to my next-door neighbor-she's the life of the party every Halloween, putting on a spectacular show for all the neighborhood Trick or Treaters~
Tomorrow promises to be hotter than today. It will be a good excuse not to go outside, but remain indoors, working on a doily or Nancy's socks, whichever strikes my mood~

Caron Free Cardi Pattern of the Day

For the knitters among us, Margret Willson has created the lacy l-o-n-g Sophia Cardi in Simply Soft Eco, but you can choose any worsted-weight Simply Soft yarn you like for this gorgeous fall wardrobe essential. The lace pattern is created with a simple horseshoe stitch changing to a broken rib stitch on the yoke and sleeves. We know you'll reach for this cardigan day after fall day.
Get the Sophia Cardi instructions here.

I saw this and immediately added it to my To-Do list.

I'm definitely geared toward sweaters this season and the horseshoe lace pattern just caught my eye~

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nancy's Socks - Steppin it up

The socks are coming along.
Oyeah, midway through today, I found a dropped stitch along the seam, and will catch it when I get a Round Tuit...meanwhile it makes a perfect stitch counter holder :) I really like the stitch, a mock-cable twist without the cable needle. Easy-peasy if you don't mind the tiny-ness of the stitches, on size 2 circulars. The yarn is Knit Picks Essentials Tweed, Inca Gold (discontinued) and is very soft, albeit a bit splitty in the fibers. The needles make short work of it as they glide effortlessly through the stitches. I love their smooth, silky feel and the cables are very soft and pliable.

Today is done, tomorrow comes early.

Igor is pooped.

Breakfast at Ginger's- golden retriever dog eats with hands

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – Plog Photo Blog

Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Stunning photos capture life in the early 40's, amazing shots~

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – Plog Photo Blog

More photos, black and white period shots
An Indian enclave in Albuquerque, N. Mex. Primitive shelters with modern city street behind. 1912. (Courtesy of the National Archives)

From the Archive: American Cities Pre-1950 – Plog Photo Blog

I’ve been working on a couple projects for a dear friend who is recovering from shoulder surgery, and omitted any mention of these, on purpose. I didn’t want to let any cats out of any bags, nor be tempted to hint at what I was doing. Tonight, I am preparing her parcel for shipment, and will post completed pictures as soon as I know she’s got them. Mustn’t ruin the surprise~

I’m working on a pair of socks right now, and it feels good to be back to my knitting again.

Nancy's Socks by Wendy D. Johnson

I’ve spent much of the summer working on a couple crochet projects as  gifts, one taking 6 weeks to complete. Sharon called me last night to say how much she loves her Rose Parade Doily, and has shared it with her nearest and dearest :)   Today, she had the Chemo-port inserted in her shoulder, to make ready for her treatments which will start next week.  Her DH said it was a very stressful day, so I didn’t get to speak with her, but hope to again soon.

 DD35 has been calling since their weekend in MI last week-her DFIL passed away suddenly, leaving DMIL a total wreck. Not to mention, DMIL had emergency surgery, a total hysterectomy 2 days after her return from the MI trip. The whole family is in turmoil, between trying to sort out Dad’s funeral arrangements, and taking care of Mom. DD35 is feeling the strain again, but I know she will pull through this, as she is always at her best when she’s helping another soul in need. Her DMIL will be living with them for a time, after her release from the hospital, and I’m sure will be more than ready to help out with teh Babeh Girl.

DH and I began picking up the pieces of our hearts after DD17 and DS15 went back to Jersey. Their visit was good this time, we felt. Now we feel their absence again, like a black hole that fills our days. It doesn’t take long for a body to get used to having loved ones in their lives for a time, only to be torn from them again, leaving a hole in the heart that never closes. We are both  grateful for every day we get to spend with them,  and sad when left with bittersweet memories that must sustain us through the in-between times.

Each of these things, I knit into whatever I am working on at the moment, each stitch holding some memory of that particular day. When I am done, I’ll gift it to the person whom I put most thought into while I worked on it.  I find comfort in my work, and hope it is conveyed in the gifting.

Igor says mosquitoes suck. Best to stay inside in the a/c.