Friday, December 30, 2011

Road trip!

Greetings from Central PA!  Found out at about 5:00 last night that if we could be accessible by email this morning we didn't need to come into the office today!  We got on the road around 7:30 this morning and are about half way home.

I'm also making progress on the final 14" requested on Jonathan's scarf. Will be sure to posted a "completed" shot once we are out of the car in NY :-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One year later (almost)

Anyone remember reading THIS last January?  I was so excited to start knitting in 2011....then wedding planning kicked into HIGH gear, which was very quickly followed by year end at work, and getting ready for Christmas 2011!

I received not one, but TWO knit sweaters this Christmas season!!
One was given to me by my Grannie, made originally by my Mom in the late 70s.  The "made by" tag has my mom's maiden name in it and my father insists that he never remembers by mom knitting, which is why we've decided it was made in the late 70s at least.  It's red cables and just gorgeous.  I wore it to work yesterday, and received many compliments!
The second one was a Christmas gift from my Mother-in-Law.  As you can see below my Sister-in-Law and I both received them as gifts this year :-)
Hers in a taupe brown and mine is sort of raspberry pink (my favorite!)

Now, I'm back to where I was a year ago thinking how I used to knit.  I learned to knit YEARS before I could figure out crocheting!  I never advanced past basic garter stitch scarves and attempts knit two purl two scarves (which are at most half way finished and still sitting on needles in my "to do" bags, drawers and baskets!)

I'm making a small online purchase of some patterns to get me going again and am adding "learn to knit cables" to my New Year's Resolutions!

Jonathan and I have also made the last minute decision to go back to WNY for New Years weekend!  I get out of work at 2 tomorrow (Friday) and we both have Monday off from work.  We didn't really have plans for New Years this weekend so it was like "why not!?!"  
My mom also has the weekend off from work so I'm looking forward to having a crafty weekend with her!  This which are on my crafty to-do list for the weekend include:
  1. Sewing infinity scarves.  Found great patterns HERE and HERE to made these.  I think they're going to be great for gifts in 2012!  Just need to make a trip to JoAnn's with Mom first thing Saturday morning (I've already checked, they open at 9 a.m.) :-)
  2. I'm crocheting a blanket made of Granny squares to look like gingham which I only have about 4 squares for so far....I've got a long way to go, but it's a fun project to pick up when I have a minute or two and it travels nicely both for crocheting in the Jeep and going to Grannie's for breakfast, etc.
  3. Jonathan received a crocheted scarf for Christmas which he's asked to be a bit longer.  I knew this was a possibility when I was finishing it up on Christmas morning, but figured I'd rather add to it (it's just a simple hdc stitch) than frog my work because he wanted it shorter!  This will likely be my road trip project for tomorrow afternoon if I get the chance to sit in the passenger seat while it's still daylight!
  4. I have a Christmas 2012 decoration that's already on my to-do list.  I'm creating it off of something my Grannie has in her house so I'm going to keep it a surprise until I have a finished project to show and a pattern written up!  I also need to stop at Walmart after JoAnns on Saturday morning to pick up a couple of skeins of "Christmas Green" Red Heart!
What does everyone have planned for New Year's Eve?  I hope it involves crocheting ;-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two on Tuesday

Things that make me happy on this week after Christmas:

1.  looking ahead to gifts and crafts that I plan to start working on in 2012 - many that I've never attempted before

2.  decisions to make last minute trips home to visit the family like the possibility of another trip up to NY for New Years weekend!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Brought to you by.....


hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend. We just got back to Maryland and must return to work tomorrow. I have some Christmas gifts I can now share here along with some crafty goodness that was given to me. Hopefully I will get pictures unloaded and posted before New Years!!

So, what was the best present that Santa brought to your house this year, and who's already starting making gifts for next Christmas?!? :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I hate it when I'm a day late forgetful with posting something!

From yesterday, my TWO ON TUESDAY

Things I love this time of year:

1.  Having snow on my birthday!  Not only was there a covering on the ground up in WNY and we had some flurries in the air here in Maryland as well - I LOVE BIRTHDAY SNOW!
Here's the picture my Dad sent me via text message the morning of my birthday.
This is looking from the garage at their front yard

2.  Having SNOW for Christmas!!  They're a week apart so you'd think it's a given, but given the mild "winter" we've all had this year, it's a big wish for 2011.....and one I think just might come true :o)

As far as my WIP - I forgot to email myself the pictures I need last night....tonight's my last night in town to prepare to go home for Christmas so not only am I BEYOND stressed and a little bit frazzled trying to get everything done and packed, but I guess getting ready to go home for Christmas can count (for now) as my WIP!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twas the WEEK before Christmas....

so much to catch up much to do!  Bare with me through many pictures as I recap through all that's been going on in preparation for the holidays!

For those of you who don't know, I work about 5 blocks from the White House so going to see the National Christmas tree is a yearly event for us!  This year, I had some co-workers who wanted to go see the tree during lunchtime as a "field trip" so here are a few pictures of the tree during the day

This was the first time I've ever gone over during the day to see the tree, and while it was enjoyable to have small crowds, the tree wasn't too special during the day w/o the lights on!

I did get a good shot of the South Side of the White House and I saw Michele Obama's garden for the first time (it's just to the left in this picture - though you can't see it here, it's rather close to the black fence)

Sunday (12/18) was my 28th birthday, but we ended up celebrating all weekend long (which I loved!)  Jonathan took me out for a wonderful dinner at Restaurant Eve in Old Town on Friday evening - here's a picture of me with dessert

Saturday night was our annual Christmas/Holly's birthday party with good friends, Christmas cookies and of course GLOGG!  Sunday was spent relaxing, doing some final Christmas shopping and wrapping presents.  Great weekend all around!

Last night, Jonathan and I went to see the National Christmas tree - this time in the evening so all the lights were lit.  For those of you who don't know, it's a new tree this year.  Back in February the old tree fell down in a storm.  The new tree, which I believe was brought in from New Jersey is around 20 feet shorter than the tree that was standing....if you can't tell from the pictures above, it was a bit anti-climatic during the day.  It was much prettier last night with all the lights on, and quite festive

The Yule-Log is seriously a giant fire pit in the lawn of the Eclipse, it's wonderful, especially on a cold December night!  It was about 50 degrees last night, but it was still nice to stand by :-)

Just for comparison sake, here is a picture of the old tree from last year

This certainly also allows you to see how much better the photo quality is with my new camera!
Regardless of the years of good lights and decorations vs. the tackier years, a tree of that size is definitely much more magical, at least to me!!

Let's see....what else have I been up to?  Oh!  All my Christmas gifts are wrapped, expect for anything that I purchase last minute once up in WNY this weekend.  I have one project that I took photos of last night to share, but those photos are sitting on my laptop at home...should make for a good WIP post tomorrow!

Here are a few more of my favorite ornaments on our Maryland tree:

I swear there really is more than Disney ornaments on our Christmas tree, but when I start talking about my favorites, these are it!  This one, also came from our Engagement trip back in 2010.  With a birthday 1 week before Christmas I love everything with holly on it so this was a definite purchase when going through the shops last year!

I also really love my Yankee's snowman!  He lights up as well (which I usually forget to turn on), but he's cute either way!

This is not so much an ornament, but a pretty view under my tree!  This is the first year I've wrapped my presents far enough in advance to have them under the tree for a couple of days!  Usually they go right into bags for transport home.  It's extra work to have to pack them up this week, but very festive to see them under the tree and enjoy my wrapping paper.  No bows yet, those will go on in NY before they go under Mom and Dad's tree.  Obviously the star of this photo are my new birthday shoes!  I'm OBSESSED with them!  I got justified buying them for the party on Saturday night, and wore them to work yesterday.  They're wonderful.  I plan to plan my outfits for tomorrow and Thursday around them to continue wearing showing them off in the office!

For those of you still will me in the long winded update, I'd like to wish my Grannie a very Happy 88th Birthday today!

Birthday party at Mom & Dad's in 2010

How's everyone else doing in preparation for this week?  Are you still on schedule?  Are you still reminding yourself that Christmas is actually coming up THIS weekend?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two on Tuesday

I'm even on time this week!

Things I'm happy for this week:

  1. watching new episodes of Glee with the girls
  2. crocheting for pleasure (i.e. come January when Christmas gifts are done, and I'm actually in the mood to crochet again, and I only crochet because I'm in the mood and it's relaxing.)
If you couldn't guess by #2 I'm way behind schedule on all things Christmas and working on gifts is starting to feel like a job worse than the one I spend 40 hours a week at in a suit!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Recap

What a busy weekend of Christmas preparations!  Never enough hours in the day to get it all done - I have definitely starting trimming the last of what I realistically think I'll be able to complete in the next 9-10 days until we're home for Christmas!

Saturday evening I spent decorating Christmas cookies with friends.  Here are the highlights of 2 hours of work and lots of wine :o)

From L to R: Smurf, Ron Weasley, Indiana (blue in '08 and representing the cities of my Indiana friends that evening), Cookie Monster and Abominable Snowman

My little Ron Weasley with his Gryffindor scarf was my best work of the night

Becca's Cookie Monster was my all time favorite of the night!

Sorry for the blurry cell phone pictures - I blame a combination of cropping the pictures and multiple glasses of wine!

After a Sunday filled with Christmas shopping, grocery shopping and party prep for next weekend, I spent about 4 hours at my sewing machine last night

We have loads of pillows on our couch for lounging and napping.  I love all the Christmas fabric at JoAnns each year!  I only need so many pairs of pajama pants and I don't quilt so pillow cases for the Christmas season seemed like the perfect excuse to buy a yard of each of these adorable prints!

Up close:
They worked just perfectly while crashing on the couch watching ABC family Christmas movies last night!

These shorts are actually for me (most of my Christmas sewing this year is catching up on things I wanted to make for myself last year but ran out of time for!)

I still have 4 pairs of pants to sew this week......1 is for Mom, 3 are for me.  I already decided last night that the flannel pants to match these shorts will likely not be made until January.  

Just trying to be realistic.  I have no problems with wearing Holly print year round :-)

Too tired to proof read today so I apologize in advance for mistakes I made in my quick typing of this update!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Sorry for the mulitple posts today, but I've started to notice that if I don't take a picture and post about it right away, I totally forget!

I just finished this up and it's so cute that I just had to share!  I wish I hasn't sewn the hat on quite so tight and his face is a little off center but this might have made the top of my list for the cutest things I've ever made!

Looking forward to this one being opened on Christmas morning!

Thanks again Debi for the book and your creative pattern :-)

I just turned the lights on the tree to get me in the spirit so I wanted to share another ornament that I love

Tinkerbell also came from WDW in 2010 after our engagement.  I really love red ornaments on the tree (I feel like green "matches" too much...weird I know)

Other holiday traditions - a family birthday party for myself and my Grannie hosted by my mom where she makes her amazing lasagna for the only time each year....just got a text from mom this morning asking if we could do the party on the 23rd!  So excited that we're doing this, I'd sort of forgotten about it given the short trip home we're making this year.  I love having these yearly dinners/traditions

Homemade Angel Food Cake (made by Grannie)
Making a wish - 2010

2 Weekends til Christmas

already?!?!  that's all I've got left to get ready for Christmas - I just can't believe it!  I remember back in October when I was working so hard to stay ahead of things this year and now I feel like I'm still waiting for Thanksgiving to roll around!  I've talked with my mom about this and we agree that this largely has to do with how unseasonably warm it's been this fall/early winter!  They are FINALLY getting snow up in WNY but down here it's just barely brisk enough for me to feel truly in the Christmas spirit!  I'm just one of those girls who needs snow to have it feel like Christmas!

Pretty every day from now until the 21st I have a list of what I've got to accomplish to be ready.  Everything must be packed by the night of the 21st as we leave on the 22nd after work for home.

Lots to do today - starting out with my coffee and getting some detailed work done on some crochet projects that will be much easier when it's daylight.  Then I've got to finish picking up and rearranging furniture from the tree's arrival last Sunday before spending as many hours as possible sewing at my dining room table.  Tonight it's all about making and decorating Christmas cookies with the girls next door!  I'll also be making my shopping list tonight to stock up on the supplies I'll need to start my cookie making next week.

Happy Saturday everyone - hope that you find yours as productive as I'm planning/hoping mine to be!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's been forever since I've talked about a WIP!

The busiest time of the year seems like an appropriate time for 2 posts in one day - there's been a lot of crocheting and craftiness these days :-)

This is part of the biggest Christmas gift that I still have left to finish (and am likely highly delusional to think it'll happen) by Christmas!

Guess if I got off my computer I'd get more done right?

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Two on Tuesday

1.  I'm a day late - whoops
2.  I'm at home so I don't have Debi's picture

So I'm doing pictures of my (day late) Two on Tuesday!

Coming home to a glass of wine (I painted these ceramic penguins about 5 years ago.  Another "crafty" that I grew up doing....)

Our Christmas Tree!

Speaking of our Christmas tree, we decorated it last night, and thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite ornaments over the next couple of weeks:

We got Mickey & Minnie in Disney back in 2010 the night we got engaged 10.9.10

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November ramblings

Happy December first everyone!  I woke up to sunny skies here in MD but temps that finally required me to get out a winter coat – such a nice start to my birthday month!!!

Figured that now is as good a time as any to do a quick recap of projects I’ve been working on…at least the ones I can share!

This beautiful cowl was a birthday gift to my Mother in-Law.  Jon’s parents did a bit of a “drive by” stop in MD on their way home from Myrtle Beach and had dinner with us the night of the 20th.  Her birthday had just passed earlier that week so I’d held onto her gift to give her in person.  I loved it so much that I took many pictures before wrapping – I just LOVE the colors in the yarn

The pattern is a “V-stitch” with my lighted K hook, and I chained on 40 to begin.  I used 2 full skeins of THIS yarn and it makes a cowl that wraps around your next twice and fits snuggly.  I would suggest a 3rd skein if you want it longer (the dye lots very a great deal with this line of yarn, so be sure to get enough the first time!)

I loved the finished product so much that I’ve been back to AC Moore to scope out my other color options (since purchasing in Marble at AC Moore, I happened to be in the Walmart in WNY the day before Thanksgiving and this yarn sells at almost $2 LESS a skein that at AC Moore full price!!!  Walmart had more colors in stock too, wish I’d known this before buying and starting to use what I already had.  Please learn from my unfortunate mistake (that comes from not having a local Walmart to browse yarn at!)

I wanted this to go with my red pea coat that I got for Christmas last year.  There is something so festive about a red pea coat but I seem to only enjoy it through about New Years.  This means I didn’t get too much use out of it after receiving on Christmas Day last year so I’ve been looking forward to colder weather in order to wear everyday!
I literally whip stitched this together this morning so I could wear it today for the first of our winter weather – I love it!

As I’ve mentioned before, we spent Thanksgiving in Michigan – Ann Arbor area to be exact and I was looking forward to heading north and having some cooler weather!!  I made these in anticipation of chilly weather while walking the U of M campus.  On Friday it was 65 degrees and sunny in Ann Arbor!  I brought the gloves but wore them little.  Pretty happy I didn’t race to finish the above gray cowl to weather too since I left my pea coat at home and wore my North Face all weekend.

They match the cowl perfectly and both work great with my now famous pea coat BUT I’ll be remaking the gloves if I can find the time.  I thought I was going to love them longer to keep my forearms warm.  Turns out I was wrong.  This extra length means I can’t wear them if I have bracelets on and when I got to work this morning, the 4” cuff of my cotton sweater was wrinkled and crinkly from being “squished” during my commute.  A co-worker has already asked to have them if I remake new ones.  Bold yes, but she told me that she cut a pair of tube socks for fingerless gloves, I figure it’s the least I can do to hand these off to someone in need like that!

What else…..OH YES!  In my haze of sickness when I got home on Tuesday night I had the BESTpackage in the mail!  Look at all the fun I’ll be having thanks to Debi’s giveaway!!

Had fun on Tuesday night flipping through the pages of the book getting new ideas of projects that I didn’t need to start right away.  Of course, I started one last night while watching the NYC tree lighting!  Debi I’m sure you can already guess what this is, and I’ve gotta tell you – my Mom is gonna LOVE it!

I’ve finally kicking the last of my flu bug so while tonight will be bedding and towel laundry, and most of this weekend will be spent unpacking from Thanksgiving, putting away the Thanksgiving decorations and decorating for Christmas (very excited about getting our tree on Sunday!  We’re a week late thanks to the flu).  It’s December first though so the crocheting really needs to kick into turbo gear if I’m ever going to get everything done in time! 

Yes, I say this every year.  I tell myself it’ll be different next year.  I try to start earlier next week, but here I am once more already thinking “how will I ever get it all done in time?!?”