finished projects

Last week felt a lot like treading water.  I’m happy to say both kids are much better now, but there was a lot of wiping noses and soothing fevers and delaying things like showers and meals for me in efforts to keep up.

I did manage to finish two knits though.  Knitting after bedtime was my sanity, and the reward doubled when I actually got to see finished results.

I finished a quick knit with this reversible cowl. I had some thick wool gifted to me, and I wanted to use it for something like this.

Reversible Cowl

And I am so happy to say that I finally finished my Henslowe shawl! I somewhat started this in December, but the holidays were crazy busy, and I couldn’t get much more than a few rows done without interruption. I picked it up again in January, and I finally finished up the edging on Friday. I love this yarn so much.




I’m not sure if I will look like an old lady when I wear a shawl, but I fully intend to wear it anyhow.

Henslowe Shawl

Large or small, a finished project of any kind feels so good, doesn’t it?

Big news!

I think the last knitted project (or any project really) that I completed was Norah’s baby blanket.  I forgot to take photos of it or post photos here, but you can see it a bit in the background of this picture. It’s soft and cuddly, and we really use it a lot. I am happy with how it turned out.


And that was in, I don’t know, April maybe?  I’ve been a little swallowed up in the regular everyday business of raising two busy little people.  But guess what?  I actually finished a craft!  And that is a BIG DEAL nowadays.  A quick little knit, but it counts for something.  How sweet is Norah in this little shrug?  [Btw, my hand is steady at the edge of this Bumbo seat, I promise.]

Norah's Shrug

Norah's Shrug

I always say this is far from a knitting blog, so I won’t list all the details, but here’s the Ravelry link if you are interested.  Things are calming down around here, and we are getting in to a rhythm, and I’m actually accomplishing things every now and then.  It feels good.

Happy Halloween, reader.  I’ll be back later this week with a few pictures.

September Crafting

This is super quick since I had at least a dozen things on my to-do list last week that never happened, and I’m racing a deadline for this weekend’s birthday party. I swear I’ll get my blogging rhythm back one day.  September was a slow crafting month.  I lost my speed on quite a few things, but I hope to catch up soon.

I did manage to finally complete this duo for a baby shower.
baby gift
The bibs are from this tutorial by Homemde by Jill, and the blanket is this pattern.  It is full of newbie mistakes, to be totally honest.  But I love it just the same.  There are a slew of babies around here with a lot of other pregnant girlfriends and family members, so I am starting work on some other soft baby things this fall.  What winter baby doesn’t need a handknit?

I also finished this button-up scarf for my mother-in-law’s birthday.  Unfortunately, I only took one crappy iPhone picture, but you get the idea.  It’s really warm and chunky.  She is an elementary school teacher and has to do carpool duty sometimes in the cold winter months, so I figured she needed something warm that can go over a coat.

Last but not least, I threw together this quick knit to mail to a friend who recently moved to Maryland since I thought she could use some fun mail in the new empty mailbox and some fall attire.  I forgot to take a photo, but it turned out deliciously soft and a pretty blue.  I used Berocco Vintage so it’s washable and easy to care for.  Also related – I need to stop the cowl obsession and knit something else.  But they are so fast and easy, it’s hard to commit to a full scarf for a timely gift!

I’m a little behind on Jude’s second year album, but it’ll be done in the next month or so, I think.  And our vintage train birthday party is in three days, so I’ll post on that soon.  We are having a little brunch this year with family and a very close friend or two, so it’s smaller than last year’s shindig, but it’s proving to be just as fun to put together.  I’ll post photos soon!

Happy Wednesday, reader.  And welcome to the world, little Zade…. The recipient of the bibs and blanket made his entrance around 7:30 yesterday morning.  Happy birthday, baby boy!  And rest well, mama.

April Crafting

Another month come and gone, and it’s summer in Atlanta really soon.  I loved flipping the calendar to May when I was a teacher because that meant summer vacation was around the corner.  It’s still exciting because I look forward to flowers and swimming pools and outside grilling and all the other great things about this time of year.  This is a short post, but I’m checking in quickly about my crafting accomplishments for April before it slips from my mind.

It was a slow crafting month, as I knew it would be because it was a busy month otherwise, and Costa Rica kept us away as well.  All I really have to show for it is a few pages on Jude’s second year album.

I find that the most difficult thing about working on these albums for him is that I tend to want to write far too much, and I have to limit myself to make things interesting for him one day rather than just interesting to me – which typically means I need to ramble less.  These pages were especially challenging though because there was so much I could have said about our trip, but I tried to keep it pretty simple.  The yellow is also out of character for my usual choices on the book, but I wanted something different and sunny, so I decided to go for it.  Hopefully it will print looking bright and happy and not blinding.

I also threw an Easter page together as well.

Other than those quick projects, I don’t have much to show.  I am making some progress on a knitting feat, but I can’t reveal too much because its eventual recipient is a reader of this blog.  The yarn is so delicious though.

And that’s about it for April’s finished work.  In news unrelated to crafting, I did manage to set up a Facebook page for this blog.  I’d been really resistant to connecting the two despite advice from blogger friends.  I gave in this week though because I’m realizing that it’s another way to subscribe for those of you who use Facebook rather than a feed reader or email subscriptions.  Plus, to be honest, I am sure all of my personal contacts were not interested in what was happening on this site, so I would sometimes want to share a link to here or to an article related to things I talk about here, but I assume my friend from third grade or a former student might not be interested.  Creating a separate page seemed like the best thing to do.

So hop on over and join us (or “Like” us) because I just got this started so nobody really knows yet.  (If you are an RSS or email subscriber, I appreciate you dearly, but I’d also love for you to join us there.)

Happy weekending, everyone.  I plan to catch up with friends and babies and maybe plant an herb garden.  What are your sunny weekend plans?

March’s Finished Projects

I can’t believe another month has passed.  It’ll be summer in Atlanta before long, and I’m ready for some steady warm weather!  I’ve written before about my crafting resolutions this year, and essentially – to catch you up if you missed it – I just want to actually finish things instead of having all of these unfinished craft endeavors lying around my house all the time. The hardest part about this monthly committment is accepting some mistakes along the way and realizing that complete and imperfect is better than any kind of incomplete.  At this point in my life anyway.

On that note, check out my yarn and needles hanging out in their new home.

I cast on for a felted cable bag way back at the first of February, and I am just now wrapping it up.  I am really practicing the art of embracing imperfections though.  Behold.  The eye sore.


The problem with this pattern (or, ahem, the user of this pattern ) is that it’s repetitive enough that you feel like you can knit it from memory once you get the rhythm and watch television rather than stare at the written pattern.  Then again, it’s not so repetitive that a newbie knitter like me should do that — hence the funky problem on the cable where I went the same direction twice.  I know how to backtrack and fix a mistake if it’s simple in nature, but I got all twisted (no pun intended) in whatever was happening with the cables, and I was too lost to fix it at that point.  But the good news is that it’s done, and the old me might have given up, but instead I said it’s almost the end of the month and I want to finish this, so imperfect or not, here we are. It’s my second completed knitted project ever, so I’m thinking one day that ugly mistake will be sentimental.  Awwww, look at my mess-up before I was any good at knitting.  …..Probably not, but whatever.  It’s done.

It holds a lot actually, and it is designated for the important job of holding my knitting gear because if my yarn is overflowing that bag, it’s a sign I need to buy less and knit more.  I got a shelf for my little craft area, and it fits nicely atop the shoebox of paints and next to the file of patterns.

I also finally put together a sewing machine cover for the same craft area.  I’ve been needing to do this for a while because my machine tends to sit for weeks between use and get a little dusty.  It’s a sweet little cover with a large pocket for scissors or a current pattern or scraps or whatever.  I got the pattern from this book, and I want to make one of everything as I flip through the glossy pages.  So many awesome ideas!


Last but not least, I completed some of Jude’s second year book as well. We had no real major events this month and no big holidays, so I decided to do something fun and casual and telling of where we are right now.


The program I use is far from professional, so the text wrap doesn’t really work that well.  I’m still trying to tweak the captions to look better, but for now, it’s complete!  So those are March’s crafty projects, and when I look back, it actually makes me feel like I got a lot done this month.  I was afraid my less-internet rule would cut in to crafting time since I’d want to get online at night or during the occasional free naptime, but that hasn’t really been the case. On the whole, being online less seems to make me want to be online even more less. (Is that even a logical phrase?)  And I usually spend evenings checking in for a minute, sharing an idea or link I’ve run across, browsing what others have shared that day, and logging off until the next day.  The rhythm is developing so well that I think I’ll leave those apps off my phone even after Lent.



Crafting is on hold for a little while, and April’s project will have to be something super quick and easy because I’m heading for Costa Rica in a few days.  Did I mention that yet?


That's the actual resort we're visiting!


I’ve been busy checking off lists and will soon be packing our bags.  We’re cashing in the husband’s travel points for a big 30th birthday bash (5 weeks later) for me!  I’m super excited, and I’m pretty sure taking a toddler to Central America means I’m either adventurous or insane; it’s a close call. But Seattle last year was pretty smooth sailing, so I’m super excited.  We’ll be reading and relaxing indoors everyday during naptime, so I’ll post likely post a photo or quick hello from there next week.  (If there’s one thing I’ve learned about traveling with a baby or toddler, it’s don’t skip naptime.) The resort offers all sorts of cool day trips to some rainforest areas and some really cool volcanoes, but with a toddler in tow, I’m thinking it might be easier to hang around the resort  or only venture to the couple of closer neighboring towns.  We’ll see. I have a feeling my gratitude list will be pretty long next time I post.


I hope you’ve had a lovely March and welcome the warmer days of spring ahead.  Until then, pura vida, friends!





Dry Spell

Usually I have a million things swirling in my head and no time to sit and write them down, but it’s been just the opposite lately.  Things are good.  Life is progressing.  But I can’t seem to find any worthy way to put much in to words. This page is really little more than my own journal, but lately I can’t seem to think of much that I would even want to read, much less all of you.

So let’s see.  It was incredibly warm and sunny in Atlanta this weekend. Yesterday brought us well in to the 60s here, and the sun was glorious.  If we have a day like this every couple of weeks, I just might make it to spring.  It was also Scott’s birthday, and we headed out for some bubble blowing and vitamin-D soaking.  I snapped a photo or two, and when I uploaded them this morning, I found this.

Can someone tell me who that is?  Because, ouch, that cannot be my baby.  I know everyone says this, but it goes so fast.  He still needs me for lots of things of course, but he’s showing his independence a lot these days as well, and it makes my heart simultaneously swell and break at the same time.  My only solace is knowing that I will have another child one day and there will be more newborn and baby time to come, but inside I wonder what women do without that crutch to fall back on.  I just might have a dozen babies.

Except not really; I’m as exhausted as I am happy.

I tend to think, oh I should do [insert necessary household chore here] or maybe this week I can finish [insert important unfinished task here]. And then he’s asleep at night, and all I want to do is somehow recover from chasing him all day which usually means reading some semi-trashy historical fiction or knitting some more.  I just cast on this handy bag, but it’s quite large in scale, so all I have is this so far.

Really it’s a little more than this now, but I’ve yet to upload a more recent photo.  It’s odd that I disliked knitting so much before and now I like it, but for now, I’ll just go with it.  It’s soothing and repetitive in away that relaxes me, and with a project like this, $20 will probably get me a month of entertainment because it’ll take me a while to finish.

So that’s about all I have to say today.  I chase a toddler by day who is just as tiring as he is delightful, and I cook and knit and read at night. I think I just summarized my life’s work in one very boring sentence.

On the bright side, girls’ night on Friday at what used to be our beloved weekly margarita spot and then a fabulous facial scheduled for Saturday!  This time of year, it’s the little things that get me through.

good week

It’s been a good week around here, and it feels good to get back to normal after last week.  It seems like every single week day brings some kind of milestone lately. This week was no exception with someone’s 15 month check-up.

365.227  15 month check up!

He was mobile as ever and all over the pediatrician’s office, but he also got super shy and buried his little face in my chest when she came in.  It’s this new behavior he does a lot lately, and it really makes him seem older.  How does he know to be shy around strangers?  It’s evidence that the baby is drifting away and the toddler is here for sure. He’s almost 25 pounds and just over 32 inches which puts his weight right in the middle and his height at the 90th percentile.   Next month also marks one whole year since we’ve visited the pediatrician for anything other than a well-visit!  There hasn’t been an antibiotic in this house at all, and I know that is part luck, but he does love his green veggies and had mama’s milk for a long time, so I know that helps us, too.  God knows we’ve passed various bugs around the house and he’s played with some sick playmates and cousins without getting anything, and I really hope this health streak continues through the cold months.

Another milestone?  Guess who finished her first ever knitting project?

365.229  first finished knit EVER

Luckily some patterns out there are super fast and hide newbie mistakes. All in all, I actually enjoyed it. A history of knitting and me:  I taught myself from a book just as I was starting graduate school eight years ago.  It probably wasn’t the best time to start something that requires patience, and I began with a scarf which took soooooooo long, so I decided I hated knitting.  I wanted to give it another try though, so this year for Christmas, I have knitting classes as a gift.  (First and foremost, it’s nice to be out of the house and on my own and learning something new.)  As it turns out, I am liking it for other reasons, too.  Sewing is abandoned lately since I have to banish myself to another room for it, but I love that I can sit next to Scott and knit away while still hanging out with my boys.  Bonus:  I think I will actually wear this cowl.  I’m excited to try some other projects soon.

On the food front, I’ve tried some new things, too.  I got a really great cookbook recently that I love.  There’s a whole chapter on breakfast-for-dinner, and it suggested pairing garlicky swiss chard with eggs and grits.  And y’all it is the perfect dinner with the husband is away and I am on my own.
<untitled> 827This is sort of a crappy photo, but I couldn’t manage to try another one and wanted to dive in.  It’s becoming a favorite of mine, and of course I add a dollop of heavy cream and a pat of butter to the grits because, I confess, I like my food as sinful as possible.

Speaking of confessions, I sort of like hamburger helper, too.  I know it’s low-brow and out-of-fashion, but for real, I do.  It’s done in one skillet, it’s inexpensive, and sometimes it just hits the spot.  When we gave up all processed foods and packaged seasonings a year ago, I really started to want some quick comfort food back in my life, and I found a few beef and noodle skillet recipes online that were so-so, and I’ve adapted it over time.

<untitled> 829

Beef & Mushroom Noodles (“real food” Hamburger Helper)

1/2 pound ground beef (We use grass-fed ground sirloin, but you could use ground chuck or even ground turkey.)

1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic (less if you are not as garlic-crazed as I am)

8 oz sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons butter

3 cups of egg noodles

beef broth – I start with about 2 cups and add more as it needs it and the noodles are cooking.  You can add a little water as well.

Brown the ground beef until done add onions and garlic and cook until the onions are done as well.  Drain it, and set it aside.   Using the already dirty pan, (less dishes, yay!) melt butter and add flour to stir until you have a roux.  Now pour in the the beef broth and use a whisk to get rid of the lumps.  Put the beef mixture back in the pan, and add mushrooms and noodles.  Simmer until the noodles are done, and keep checking to see if you need to add more water / broth.  It usually takes about 15 minutes to finish this up.  Add salt and pepper as you want, and you’re done!

When it’s cold outside, it’s exactly what I want.  I know someone else who likes it, too.

So that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to.  A little crafting, a little cooking, and also a lot of reading.  (Why am I so late to get on the train for Philippa Gregory?)  I hope your week has been great, and you’re staying warm.

snow day

So when I told you a few days ago that I love staying home and being lazy lately, the universe heard me and dumped 7 inches of snow in my front yard last night. 7 inches.  In Georgia.  Where a light dusting on the rooftop is normally a news-worthy event.

And someone woke up at 5:30 this morning, talked to himself enthusiastically for an entire hour, and then finally demanded that I get out of my warm bed and come get him.

Dude knows things, I swear.  He did the same thing on Christmas morning.  So it’s 8:41 am when the pre-child me would have been sleeping or brewing coffee or buried under a down comforter in bed reading a novel.  And what have I done today?  We’ve had french toast, face-timed Scott who I’m sad to say is missing the fun as he’s away this week, and we’ve already played in the snow a bit.

Jude had a hard time walking since it was halfway up his shin.

It was early.  I was half-awake with no makeup and sweats that had me looking like a hobo.  But the mama in me said let’s head outside anyway and take a few photos to know this really happened. Real, live, fluffy snow in Atlanta, y’all.

It’s been a fun day already.

And I’m going to try and ignore all those worries about the power outage possibility (more freezing rain for the next 24 hours, they say).  I just watched a pine tree sway a little as I drank my second cup, and I am really really really wishing my husband was in town.  Casting those worries aside for now though, and I’ll rest in the possibility of a mommy-baby adventure and know I won’t freeze or starve to death.  Even if we have to sleep by the fireplace or eat graham crackers and peanut butter for a day or two.  We’ll get by.

And what else do I have to keep me busy? Some Philippa Gregory on my Kindle and a little practice from Saturday’s knitting class.

I guess snow isn’t that bad after all.