Sunday, December 27, 2009

Basics Make the Spotlight

In the hand spun fiber venue, grey churro qualifies as a staple. My little skein of this yarn made it into an Etsy Treasury today. This yarn make great rugs, felts beautifully if you can stand to felt handspun, or it is super for totes and for use as embellishment.

I don't spin much chunky yarn these days but I loved spinning this churro on my stately Rachel Brown Rio Grande wheel.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have the Merriest of Merry!

May you and yours find peace, love and joy under your tree this day. I am so grateful for so many blessings this happy day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ssssshush, I'm going to share a secret

Do you know about Pioneer Woman? She is my new favorite blogger and so much more. Evidently she's been quiet a sensation for awhile now. I'm just now finding her. She writes of her life on a working cattle ranch in rural Oklahoma with her husband, Marlboro Man, and her four children. But, it's so much more. She has just finished a book tour for her New York Times bestseller cookbook, Pioneer Woman Cooks.

I'm just sorry I missed her here in Dallas. Anyway, true to my compulsive self, I have
(a) run out to Borders and bought myself a copy,
(b) sent my best New Mexico kitchen friend a copy for Christmas, and
(c), drumroll,please, just finished preparing Fancy Macaroni myself to have here for the holiday weekend. It has bacon, onions and yummy cheeses like gruyere, parmesan(the good kind) and feta. I quickly slid it into the back fridge to bake for family Sunday dinner. Sampling was a sinful temptation.
This picture of the baked pan of sin is Ree's. Mine still needs to be baked, ok?

Tulip Time

I LOVE tulips in my spring garden. In in the midst of of all this holiday hubbub, I dug out my garden journal to find my notes on my favorites.Angelique, above, is a gorgeous double I planted two years ago. It blooms later.
Pink Impression is tall, stalwart against winds, blooms early and is long lasting. I'll buy the most of these.

Queen of the Night, above, is a dramatic beauty that I like to pair with Pink Impressions so it will show. I find dark flowers need to be contrasted with lighter colors to be dramatic. All these will flow around the fuchsia cyclamen already adorning the bed. Now I just need a few white alyssum and white crocus to show of these glamourous ladies.

I think I love gardening as a way of feeding my craving for color and design. I like to select the non-cliche' flora when I can. That means I don't do carpets of pansies and marching lines of bulbous kale as seen around here in abundance. Ok, so tulips are part of spring and everywhere. I plead mea culpa.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sugar Love Affair Continues

Kid's Christmas parties have a new angle these days: a full-on cookie decorating station. Why wasn't this thought of 50 ( allow me the fudge on years there) years ago?
I would have been all over it. Anyway, yesterday right as you enter this fancy Christmas to-do a table laden with cookies and all the fixings was on our left.
I could have just eaten one each of the blanks.

But, dishes overflowing with creamy, colorful icing and little ramekins full of about twenty different choices of cookie amendments.
Zoe was super serious about her creation. That peppermint you see on the side stayed there for a separate treat.
See the little Christmas tree and stars? I want some of those for my stash. Mimi requested her own cookie to have for dessert after brunch. I ate the whole little bell loving every sugary bite.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yes, Hello, my name is K and I'm a mitt-aholic, at least this winter. These hunky numbers are super fast to knit. They were done before the new Star Trek movie was over on my DVR. I used my chunky single-ply churro hand spun. This was a skein I was saving as it was a lamb fleece I acquired from Connie Taylor at Cerro Mojino Wools back in the '90's. Churro is not always something that I recommend for

wearing close to the skin, but this is super soft. I think these will be great for wearing on chilly walks with Trinket.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Nothing prepared me for the richness of the Christmas party with the Wednesday Texas Twisters. After filling plates from two tables of potluck temptations for lunch, we gathered around the circle of wheels, now 18 women, and started the whole gift thing. Well, first it was Cindy passing around a grab bag of wrapping gifts for everyone. We all got little sheep of some sort. Mine is above with the bookmark made for each of us by birthday girl, Sharon. Love the hand spun tassel! Then cute Joanne showed up with a cookie sheet of little yarn and needles magnets for everyone. FYI, she started with a little fluff of fiber and then wound the yarn around it. The needles, aka toothpicks, have little beads glued on the ends. Evidently it took some experimentation with glues to find the right one for attaching all that to the magnets. I love these!

Then, Laurie popped out her little "Laurie" doll out of her bag. I couldn't resist her. I guess I will always be a hopeless doll lover. But isn't she cute?
She just watched what followed.
All, this and we hadn't even begun the gift exchange. It was one of those deals where you get to pick a new gift or take something someone else has already opened. Anyway, I ended with a very cool bag of stuff. Stay tuned for that "reveal" tomorrow.
I went home thinking generosity of spirit from so many is truly a blessing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I think with all the hype around the holidays I like to remember that family and friends are the real treasures of the season. Last night I got to have a casual dinner with just one special friend. The main purpose of the visit was to bring her up to speed on how to use her new IPhone. We had take-out Chinese, an incredible bottle of Silver Key cabernet sauvignon and chocolate almonds. I still think TIME is the greatest gift we can give each other theses days. We laughed and shared stories for three hours.
I got to hear of her dilemma of whether or not to keep the incredible pair of Italian Renaissance chairs (see above). She got to hear of my silly grandmother stories. We made a tiny bit of progress on the IPhone. I'll just have her to my home soon and we'll carry on. Take-out Italian should be good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Texas Treasury

I Grabbed an Etsy Treasury this a.m. Texas is a favorite treasury theme and always gets lots of views so, if" it ain't broke don't fix it". I found great stuff done by Teametsytx members and a few from Etsy Supply Street Team members . These teams promote members and their work and just generally get the word out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Per Zoe's request cookie baking day started with the Rachael Ray fudge. She sort of pooped out on stirring the heavy fudge mixture on the stove but scored the spoon after the fudge was done and in the mold.
Meanwhile Jen was at the big mixer making the Joy of Cooking Rich Roll Cookie recipe for sugar cookies for the kids to decorate. She suffered a flour blowback in the process. We seem to have one of these every year. Last year it was me with the powdered sugar for the Sand Tarts.

Jen was sure the kids could ice the cookies before baking. Oops. Not so much! I appointed myself as taster of these bombs. Quite yummy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spinning, Baking, Friends

Somedays I wake up thinking I am so lucky to have the life I have. Today is one of them. First I load up my knitting and head to Lancaster for a Second Saturday with the Over the Wheel Gang in Lancaster. I haven't been able to go for months so I will have lots of catching up to do.

Then I head home to bake Christmas cookies cookies with #1 daughter. We have pledged to not be overly ambitious and just bake three kinds: 1) Aunt Betty's shortbread, 2) Rachael Ray's Fudge, (she made it on Oprah, even) 3) obligatory sugar cookies for the kids to decorate.
Then, I hope to have dinner with my "Thelma and Louise" nurse friends. They let me travel around with them on some wacky adventures. Tonight we are celebrating a birthday (nope, not saying how many).
I LOVE December.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Fascination Continues: Peggy's Mitts

Peggy just kept pulling her versions of fingerless mitts our of her tote yesterday at Texastwisters Wednesday spinning group. Look at all the gorgeous handspun she used.
According to Peggy she casts on, knits some ribbing, does a little increasing for the thumb, then decreases a little before she knits the garter stitch at the top. I think she has the general pattern in head, don't you, as you look at her work? BTW, these are all for an order she received at a craft show last week. You go, girl!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shameless Peddler

As promised this is the postscript to "Party for Eighteen". Amazing fun and fellowship (did I mention that it was my guild from church) was had by all. As the wine flowed , talk turned to my fingerless mitts. This shameless peddler (moi) quickly arrayed all my inventory (see December 2 post) on the kids' craft table. At the end of the evening this is the last soldier standing. Wow, who knew? This may be the new venue of what used to be my "trunk show" of my weavings in my New Mexico days. Yours truly used to keep finishing work in the back of my Forerunner just in case someone expressed interest. It was quite successful. Now if I can just translate that into a little less of an effort than a huge entertaining event, I may be onto something here in Texas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole of Dinner for 18

Yep, that's right. And they are coming tonight. Actually it's a piece of cake. I just provide the house and the TABLE for eighteen. Raise your hand if you happen to have one of those handy. Me, I just recruit sweet Rosario to help me move the impossibly heavy breakfast room table that happens to expand to a handy 84 ", to sidle up beside my 94" long dining table, spread a mosaic of 3 big tablecloths over it, and then crunch 18 place settings where 14 really should be.

Ok, done. Now how to you find chairs small enough to fit in these munchkin spaces? Call friends. Bring me your little chairs. Done. Now all I have to do is light the candles. Where is the Aim-n-Flame when you need it??

Ok, now that I have you thinking I'm superwoman of the table setters, I must come clean. My guests all bring the food. I just provide the set up and the ice. I do this every December because we have the very best time. I promise a full report in my next post. Honest.

BTW, Trinket was absolutely no help at all.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Great Time to Shop: 20% of All Items at Cordova Studios

ETC First Monday sale!! a♫ ☀☀ It's time again for ETC's First Monday SALE! Cordova Studios is offering********20% off ALL items****** in the shop December 7 through noon December 8.. Discount will be credited back to buyer after sale. Discount does not include shipping though.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cool IPhone App: Night Camera

Zoe and Charley came this afternoon to "help" me finish decorating the tree. Their job is to fill the bottom half of the tree with lots of my mostly unbreakable ornaments.

Zoe loves this tradition. Charley not so much. He just wanted to go outside and ride his scooter. Too cold outside for this Mimi to do that so he grumped about.

After they left I turned out the lights in the room and was enjoying the magic of the tree.

I've had the "Night Camera" app for several months but had not been successful with it. Tonight I got it. You have to click the shutter and then wait, wait, wait for it to snap. some of the magic comes through with the light beams playing on the tree. Pretty cool with just a phone camera. I still would like to harness the light a bit more Any ideas?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nature's Trump Card

I think it could a be Christmas card. I look down outside my porch at this glorious burst of holiday red and green. Mother Nature gives us the Japanese Maples as fall's final gift. My little grandson is learning about Mother Earth. Here is an exchange with his father as the travelled to his little school:
"We were talking this morning on the way to school as usual and Mother Earth came up. I said something like 'And that is why we need to take care of her.' Charley then said he wishes he could give his covers to Mother Earth so she could sleep."

Little people perceive the preciousness of things so simply. It makes my festooning of the tree and house today seem a little superficial.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fingerless Frenzy

The fingerless alliteration goes on as does the knitting. So far nine pair, eight pictured here. Another pair is on the needles. The makings of several more are in the basket. I love these gloves. AND, it's snowing here in Dallas this a.m., so I might just get to wear a pair when I head out to meet the spinning ladies later.
Several of these are going to friends who have ordered them as gifts. I am keeping the ones on the lower right for me. The cuffs are Louet Merlin (merino & linen) and the palm is handspun bought at a wool festival in the last few years. I am so bad about keeping track of purchased fiber. The little ones on the lower left are for Zoe. They are actually an "oops" when I had the gauge wrong. She can't wait to wear them. Love having little people around to take up the slack.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Toes Up Cozy Time

My all time favorite evenings these days are spent in my favorite chair with my favorite PJs' on and these crocheted slippers made for me by Cintia . Tonight I am doing the finishing on about eight pair of fingerless gloves. It has become an obsessive stash buster. Friends want them for Christmas giving, so I'm on it. It's yucky rainy outside and biting cold. Perfect for Trinket and I to catch a little Tivo and enjoy the fire.

Monday, November 30, 2009

CYBER MONDAY: 20% off everything in shop!

I can't miss this frenzy!?!

Shawls, Scarves,
those precious dog sweaters

as well as all the yarns: hand spuns, hand dyeds, and handpainted rovings on sale today until noon Tuesday.

Come shop!

PS: sorry, shipping not included in discount.
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