Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Cooking

It was a real rainy weekend. That's like the perfect reason to cook and bake right? There was also the fact that St. Patty's Day hits on a Wednesday this year and Jon hadn't gotten a birthday cake from me since we'd gone to CoCo Sa La as part of his birthday dinner.
I had been craving my Great Grannie's sponge cake with Maple Frosting so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make it, and test out my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer one more time before throwing out the box! Jon suggested that I put apples in it, and then he'd be ok with me making, so I did. It was so pretty when it came out of the oven, I just felt the need to capture with a few pictures!

Obviously the 2nd one is once it was frosted with homemade Maple frosting - my favorite! The cake turned out great. Jon loves it! It doesn't really have a strong apple taste or anything, but for me it definitely changes the taste of something that I grew up eating quite frequently - always the exact same way.
On to my corn beef dinner. I went up to Giant on Thursday night before the rain started to get my brisket and cabbage. I cooked it for dinner on Saturday night. It smelt AMAZING, and was wonderful. I plan to get another when I go grocery shopping tonight and freeze it to have in the near future.
Everything about our dinner Saturday night was just perfect, leftover for hash on Sunday morning came in a close 2nd :-)

Weekend Craft Update

I really want this blanket to be done. Like seriously, I need it to be finished. And I have never felt this way about something I'm working on. I'm just REALLY over it.

I had made great progress last weekend, just had 4 or 5 squares to go by Sunday evening and I told myself I would work on them a little bit each night after work and then I'd be ready to sew by the weekend. Well, then Monday came and went and slowly became Tuesday, etc. Needless to say I didn't touch the yarn or pick up my crochet hook once during the week. I usually leave the project I'm working on out so it's somewhat visible to me when I'm being lazy and just laying there watching TV. I actually left this all on the chaise and I still didn't touch, I just laid around it!

Friday night into Saturday morning I finished up crocheting the squares and got the first round of sewing ends completed!
Here they are - 49 finished squares.....they all look so sunny and happy here - even though it was raining I feel like there were positive vibes out there for the fact that soon this dreaded blanket would be done! I couldn't wait to get them laid out and see what the pattern I had in my head was gonna look like. First I had to pick up so I could vacuum. By 4 p.m. I was finally finished with my house chores and was able to get everything laid out before it got too dark.

What do you think? I'm pretty sure I like it..... Considering that when I bought the yarn this wasn't what I was planning on making, and the dk. green came from my own yarn collection once my first pattern wasn't cutting it. Now to sew everything together......

Yup, sorta an "out of sight, out of mind" moment that I had last night. I'm thoroughly annoyed with the whole thing and again, just REALLY want it to be finished! Since this pattern wasn't what I was planning when I bought the yarn, I should have just taken it all back and started fresh. 4 colors, 3 different brands (even though they're all worsted weight) and now that they're sewn together you can totally tell. UGH!!!!!!!! All the sewing part is done, and I got to crocheting together the final strips but I was just so annoyed with how it looks and the fact that it's not flat I just gave up! I'm really hoping that when I finish getting everything together and get a border around it, it's either going to just magically look better or I can tug on it a little and get things lookin' less lumpy. Who knows maybe lumpy will be a good look! If anyone has any ideas or suggestions as to a quick fix that doesn't require me tearing anything apart, PLEASE let me know!
Since I gave up on this yesterday afternoon, and we were getting ready to watch a movie last night I decided I needed to find something a little less stressful to make and help keep me awake! This was the point where I was super happy to have spent the time I did on Saturday reorganizing the mess of yarn I had out in the living room and really got my "to-do" projects back in order.
Here's the hat I made during the 2nd Harry Potter movie:

I was on such a roll that I started the next one too!

Hopefully by the time I'm done giving that darn blanket the stink eye all week I'll be able to buckle down and finish it next weekend!

Lesson learned: no matter how good you think you are, or how many times you tell yourself you'll make it work with the yarn you got to save some $$, STOP what you're doing, get in the car, take it all back and get yourself all the same brand of yarn for the project!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fixed finally

Sorry it took me this long, but below are my Snowmageddon highlights! It's been over a month since the snow fell and this weekend we've got enough rain coming that if it were below 32 degrees we'd have more record breaking snowfall on the way. THAT GOD THAT IS NOT THE CASE!!! It's still around 50 degrees luckily so it's just gonna be a wet weekend.

Obviously with 2-4" of rain on the way, I won't be planning any outdoor activities or spending extended amounts of time outside/shopping. Perfect opportunity to get some work done on my craft projects, get some craft stuff organized and make progress on some new projects I've got going in my mind! Will be sure to post pictures at the end of my 2 days of "house arrest". I hope that I will have much to report on :-)

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FINALLY my Blizzard pictures

So the snow is finally almost gone, they're even talking about 50+ degree weather over the weekend......I guess now is as good a time as any to FINALLY post some of my Snowmageddon pictures right??

Below is the link to the slideshow I created, I hope that you can access it. I wish I could have figured out how to put directly in this post, but I had no luck. Anyone out there got an answer to today's issue for me? As you can see, I did figure out adding a link since yesterdays post. Did it all on my own today too (I really think that the "link" image was just missing yesterday when I was trying to find it, at least that's what I'm going with!)

I did take many more pictures than this over the course of the 7 days that we were snowed in (ugh, memories) along w/ the times that I took them, but I figured that for now I would just give you the highlights of what it was really like in Silver Spring, and if I ever get them into a scrapbook I will share with those who are interested in seeing.

I hope you enjoy - I will post the pictures of the completed purple blanket tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I feel like I missed out!

Ever heard of the Knitting Olympics? Well I hadn't until after the opening weekend of the Olympics. I read about it on a family members blog during my lunch break one day! Who knew such things existed, and why didn't I know before!

I can't figure out to insert the links to this post (if someone knows how to do this and is willing to share, I'd love to know!), but if you go to Yarn Harlot's Blog, or Every Day Crochet you will be able to read all about these communities that have been challenging themselves in the craft that they love over the 17 days that we all sat glued to our TVs. If you were anything like me, you probably sat down as soon as you got home from work and watched until 12-12:30 every morning. that's what I did. And I was miserable every morning at 6 a.m. when my alarm went off, and I was usually fairly miserable by 2 p.m. at work each day. But I would get home and do it all over again.
I could have started to work on a project once I heard about this "Crafty Olympics" as I like to call it since I spent more time crocheting that I do knitting, but would certainly find myself challenged to pull out my knitting needles and finish a project in 17 days. The problem is I really didn't get motivated into it. I did work on projects. Like I finished an adorable St. Patty's Day door hanger for Grannie that I designed in my head and worked very hard on last weekend to get it to look right and just mailed it off to her this morning. The problem with that is, a 12"x3" piece of plastic canvas is not challenge to me! I have a pile of Granny squares that one day will be a blanket that I am working on, and I actually started to knit a scarf after learning a new stitch from a friend, but each night the projects sat there staring at me like a puppy who wants attention. I just had no desire to sit up and actually concentrate on them. Weird for me right?

I'm sitting here now, I just finished reading about the finish projects and pride felt by some Knitting Olympians and I find myself angry that I didn't try harder because I now have to wait until London 2012 to partake. Even worse, it'll probably be more likely that I have to wait until Soshi 2014 because I don't spend much time knitting/crocheting in the summer months of DC. No amount of air conditioning alleviates the sweaty hands I get holding onto yarn in August!

The only way I feel slightly better is thinking of Mom's purple blanket that I did finish, but long before the Opening Ceremonies. I finished that early on in Blizzard #1 of February, I believe even before Snow Day #1 (of 4) hit because I no longer wanted to have to keep working on it! That blanket was certainly a challenge. It is to date the biggest project I've ever started AND completed, and while it's not perfect I am very proud that I finished it. It's just beautiful. You're going to have to take my word for now as I still haven't gotten my pictures on a thumb drive to bring with me! Maybe tonight :-)

My only hope now is to get my motivation back and finish the blanket I'm currently working on! I have 3 or 4 more already at the start gate (have the yarn and everything). Unlike how I am with plastic canvas and scarves/hats/pillow though, I've really gotta work one blanket at a time, it's just too much yarn sitting around for just one project.

I'm planning to come home the end of April and I have a few things that I do need to make by then as well as gifts, wow I think I need to make a list and get some things in order so I'm not racing till the last minute! I always do that too. I said at Christmas time that I had decided on some gifts for family for next Christmas and that I was going to have them made and put away for December by Jan 31st.......then I started the famous purple blanket and needless to say, I have many things I need to make still!