January 31, 2011

In Color

Posted by Picasa
I have been feeling the winter greys lately too. The time of year has come where the snow begins to make me feel weary instead of cozy. I am tired of donning multiple layers of winter clothes and jackets, tired of being inside so much, and tired of the monotony of white and grey and black when we do suit up and venture outside. So these are some of the little spots of color in my home which make me smile. Oh, and I am a cloth diaper geek. ;)
Visit Ginny for more colorful inspiration.

January 28, 2011

FO Friday

Many of these are not really recent FO's. Sorry for this but I really want to document them somewhere other than Ravelry so that people who aren't on there can see them too. :)
First up we have some longies that I completed a couple months ago for a friend who bought the (scrumptious!) yarn and sent it to me to knit for her beautiful little girl. The first pic was taken right after I completed them... on our 9+ hour drive back to MI. The actual color is somewhere in between the two pictures.

Next we have 1 of 3 of these cute little beret's I made. All from sock yarn (less than a 400yd skein for anyone interested) and super easy quick knits. I made the largest size which was toddler. The pattern is here.
Next up, although not a knitting project, is one which I am very proud of. This is a child size doll carrier, similar to an adult Mei Tai (sp?) baby carrier. I am proud because a) I made up the pattern and b) I sewed it with no help and c) it actually came out pretty cute and my sewing wasn't as awful as I feared it would be either!

I do have a picture of my daughter wearing it (it was a Christmas gift for her cousin) somewhere but they are all blurry... want to see it anyway? Ok hang on...
And finally we have the 2 other beret's I recently finished (this one just this week, it was a birthday present for her cousin. If you are reading this Jen, don't let Dags see (: ). I loved the way this yarn knit up and was happy I had enough left from my sisters ankle socks to make the hat. Used every last scrap!
I originally made my mom some socks from this yarn, then made my niece a tiny pair but ran out on the second little sock so I bought another skein. Now it has been reincarnated into this hat and I still have at least 1/3 of the skein left (maybe 1/2?) so I am thinking of knitting some fingerless mitts or little socks for Bella Bear. Isn't she sweet? :)

January 26, 2011

Yarn Along

Reading: the no-cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers. Knitting: a clapotis out of sock yarn.

Now I have to say these are not colors I would pick for myself in a yarn but it was on clearance at Jo-ann Fabrics for a ridiculous price of $1.99 a skein. So I bought all four that were left. Hmmm what to do with some very ummmm... dramatic sock yarn? Well here you have it. I am thinking it might make a nice gift for someone who likes red and black.
On to the book. I checked this book out from the local library because my daughter has NEVER been a good sleeper. We are doing much better lately, in part because of this book and in part because she is much more settled in since we moved in November. Lately, though, she has been getting up ridiculously early (anyone else up at 4:45 this morning???) and it is kind of cramping my style. Sure I am not a morning person but I can handle 5:30, even 5:00 AM. But 4:45 holy moly! I think it started because she wanted to be up when my husband is up in the morning, but even he doesn't want to get out of bed before 5. In all seriousness, however, I am starting to get concerned that she is not getting enough sleep again since she is going to bed between 7 and 7:30 PM and only takes an average of a 1 and a half hour nap during the day. Anyway, I am open to any suggestions from anyone else who may have had this problem with their kids.
Now head over to small things for more Yarn Along fun (and a giveaway!)

January 18, 2011

Small Steps

As a Christmas present to myself this year I got the kindle version of Small Steps for Catholic Moms on our Ipad. I have been reading it day by day, here and there, missing a lot of days but that is ok because as Elizabeth said: "It is a perpetual calendar". I was actually inspired in a roundabout way to write this post after reading the most recent post over at small things.
I have to say I found myself identifying with Ginny's post in a very deep and personal way. More than I usually identify with people whether in person or on the computer. So thank you Ginny for your beautiful post (and, as always, photography). I know how you feel, I really do, I could write those very same words myself. I read the entry for today in Small Steps last night and tried to remind myself over and over to exude joy to my daughter, to the world, but I didn't. I told myself to fake it, but I didn't. I got through the day and my house is cleaner but the day is now done and I can't have it back to do over. I wish I would have laughed with her more, played with her more, been more sensitive to her tender little feelings, not used the "n" word so much ('no'). But, tomorrow is another day and tomorrow I will, even if I have to fake it, I will be joyful. I also know what it is to look back on a childhood and feel anxiety, sadness, turmoil. I do not want this for my daughter or any other children God may bless us with. Tomorrow's entry would have me add more prayer time to our routine, and I might yet do that, but I think I will re-read today's entry in the morning as well and try harder to "Walk and talk and smile as if you have the joy of Jesus in your heart and soul." -Small Steps for Catholic Moms

Thank you Ginny, and thank you Elizabeth.

January 17, 2011

Giveaway over at small things

***NOTE*** This is not my picture but a picture from the giveaway host's blog: small things.

There is a very sweet little tutorial and giveaway for a perfect little dolly over at small things.

January 13, 2011

Home made playdough

*note* cashews and peanut butter DON'T go together (blech). Now back to your regularly scheduled post.

I have been meaning to post this for awhile now but haven't gotten around to it. My daughter and I (well mostly me but she did get to stir and dump in some of the ingredients) made our own playdough and it was lots of fun. We used 4 half packets of koolaid (no sugar) for the coloring and they had the added bonus of making the dough smell yummy. Just be warned it tastes nothing like it smells, although since it is homemade from normal stuff it probably won't hurt your little ones to sample it. If they are the adventurous sort they may even sample it more than once... or twice... or three times. I am not sure how many times it took before my little bear decided it didn't really taste very good after all, but eventually she stopped sampling it. This is the recipe I used:
Best Ever Playdough Recipe.

I don't remember if we doubled the recipe but now that I think about it I am pretty sure we did because I still have a lot of playdough in the back of the fridge and It seems like way more than 2 cups of flour's worth.

We mixed up all the dry ingredients and split them into four bowls of more or less equal amounts. Then we added a half packet of koolaid to each of the bowls. If you are the sort that has to measure everything exactly, well then I recommend you do so if you don't want to have to play around with the amounts. As it was, we had to add a little more flour to some and a little more water to others, but my little one just thought that made it all the more fun.

Then we boiled our water in a big glass measuring cup in the microwave (no I didn't let her help with this or with the playdough while it was hot. Oh wait, I let her stir a little... but I am sure it had cooled down at least some by then...) and poured 1/4 of it into each bowl. Sorry I didn't get better pictures of the whole process. I think it was the whole hot-liquid-within-less-than-an-arm's-reach-of-a-toddler thing that prevented me from doing so.

Then stir to form dough and when cool enough knead with your hands to get the texture smooth.

That's it! I don't necessarily think it is any cheaper than regular playdough (the cream of tarter tends to be expensive) but it is edible if your kids are prone to eating such things, and my daughter really enjoyed making it as much as she now enjoys playing with it. Scratch that, I think she liked making it MORE than she likes playing with it now.
Is there a smudge of purple on the corner of that little mouth? She certainly looks awfully pleased with herself doesn't she...

We keep ours in a big freezer bag in the back of the fridge. It has lasted 2 months so far although I did split the colors in half to keep some un-played with so that it would last longer. Also if it starts to get a little dry just spray it with a little water from a spray bottle, or add a few drops and work it in as you play with it. Also, the grape flavor came out greyish, not really purple, but my daughter didn't seem to mind. If you really must have purple I would try those neon food coloring drops in purple. The regular blue and red together make a greyish color as well.