Thursday, December 23, 2010

Party time

Well, it's not smocked dresses and Eton suits anymore for my more- than-hip grandkids, Zoe and Charley.  Truth be told, Charley never wore Eton suits, but his Uncle Jim did.  Uncle J despised them, BTW, but that is another story.  Anyway, They are going to an annual holiday party tonight.  Their mom dropped off their party clothes for them to slip into when we get home from see the new Narnia movie this afternoon.  Zoe has this bright new outfit complete with new shiny boots.

 This is Charley's go-to "going out" outfit this fall.  He loves his boots, all three pair.

 He gravitates to this totally hip shirt every party.

Can't wait to see the pics of them all decked out and charming the room.  What, me prejudiced?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cookie buckets

Ten little buckets, each packed with about six kinds of tiny cookies ready for friends and neighbors.   Wish I had a catchy way to say that, but I'm about out of sparky words right now.  I don't know how I let myself get on this holiday rush train.  I am waking up each day with a list in my head.
Today I get to take a break and go spin with my friends.  Oh, and deliver a few buckets. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First Day of Winter: 78 degrees here but...

 My Colorado family is having a different winter.  Abundant snow has given son, Jim, a glorious playground for his high back country skiing on his telemark skis.  Here he slogging through the trees at Berthound Pass, altitude 11,000 feet plus.  That looks like nothing but torture to me.

Granddaughters, Sophie and Stella look frozen to me on their first day of skiing last week.  God love 'em.  They are becoming little whizzes on the slopes.

Meanwhile, a friend sent me this shot of my condo in Harbor Springs, Michigan.  They are getting hammered with snow and cold there.  Dallas, however, cannot decide on balmy, silly spring weather, or blustery cold.  Today, 78 to 80 degrees.  Christmas eve, maybe 50 with lows in the 30s.  I think I will take the latter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookie Blitz

Shifting gears from madly knitting fingerless mitts for Christmas shipping, Jen, Zoe and I hit my kitchen to knock out two of six kinds of Christmas cookies we have planned for holiday parties and gifting.  First I made Helen Corbitt's Sand Tarts, little balls of butter, powdered sugar, cake flour and chopped pecans.  Melt-in-your mouth sweetness.  My mom used to make these as little crescents, but my current family prefers little balls. 

 Then on to the decorated sugar cookies pictured at the top.  I found these tiny little Christmas cookie cutters of trees, candy canes, ornaments and stars which Jen decided would make perfect little bites for her Christmas Eve Tasting Party with everything small scale.  Wow, a doubled recipe for "Rich Roll Cookies" in the trusty tome, The Joy of Cooking,  p. 711 made acres of cookies! We were icings and sprinkling toppings for what seemed like hours.  Oh, and the kicker is, the icing needs to set for 5 hours before you stack them in a tin.  Guess who got to do that at 10 P.M.??

 Zoe loved really helping this year.  She manned both the big KitchenAid mixers with ease.  Jen's newer model blue baby is much less libel to blow flour around as it is added to creamed butter mixers.  Just FYI, folks, if you are in the market for a new mixer.
 Jen kept checking our math.  We've been off sometimes in previous years with hilarious results.

Zoe loved scraping the  dough off the beater.

 These are tiny little 1 1/2 inch cookies.  So pretty!

Next up, Rachel Ray's fudge ring and Aunt Betty's shortbread.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catch Up

 FIBER:  dyed, spun, knitted.  I promise it's been happening in the studio, but, yikes, it has been almost two months since I posted here.  I have no explanation but am determined to get with it again.
My makeshift garage dyeing studio was a favorite hangout during the mild days of fall.  This skein of hand spun evolved from the Heirloom Tomatoes colorway of superwash Blue-faced Leicester roving below.  One of my twisted spinning sisters  bought it, spun it and let me photo her gorgeous work.

 Keeping rovings dyed with crazy Olive colorway in stock as been hard.  They are snatched up before I can get them in the shop.

 This bobbin is  Kate's plied version, spun with kid mohair locks.

 I have been experimenting with unexpected colorways of warm and cool colors mixed as in the Accent 1 BFL roving here.

 I spun and plied it on itself, never got the skein photographed before I took it to Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza at Mt. Magazine where it sold!  There will be more of this look.  One is already in the wings.  Stay tuned.

I am a shareholder at Fancy Fibers farm.  Part of my share was a batt of Border Leicester wool.  I carefully tore it into roving, dyed it with salmon and ercu.  After it was spun, I had about 210 yards of two-ply yarn, more than enough for at least one pair of fingerless mitts.

 I love that they are co-ordinating but not matching.

 I think I have enough to even make one more pair.  Love that!

 I'm back into fingerless mitts again this year, big time.  These two pair are headed off to my SIL in Connecticut today.  I think they are meant to be gifts.  Wish I had time to make dog sweaters, too.  Those are about sold out of the shop.
 This lavender-and-pearls number has been one of my faves.  It's being mailed out today.  Love Christmas shoppers!
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