Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas decorating

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is our traditional day to decorate the house for Christmas. The fall stuff gets packed away for the year and the spring decor gets shifted from the fall boxes to the Christmas boxes. That way, when January gets here, I'm all set to pack up Christmas and decorate for spring. It's all a big switcharoo!

I can hardly believe that there are just three and a half weeks until Christmas. Still so much to do, cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, socks to knit...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Almost ready!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the big family shindig is at our house. I spent yesterday getting casseroles ready to bake, as well as baking the cornbread for dressing. Today was dessert day--pies (apple, pecan and pumpkin) and pumpkin cheesecake.

Early tomorrow morning, we'll get the turkey in the oven and hopefully have everything ready by 1pm.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Horses and Little Girls

A long time ago, I heard someone say that a girl's first love should be a horse. Horses can be affectionate, patient listeners and they never tell you that your feelings are silly. A lot like dogs, I think.

My youngest daughter is a horse girl. She likes to ride, but I think her favorite part of the lesson is the time before and after the actual instruction, when she can snuggle her horse's nose and talk to him. He nudges her pockets for treats and nuzzles her hand when she brushes him.

Whether she goes on to be a great horsewoman or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, she is saving up special memories for her future. (And, of course, she gets to wear pink boots.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Spinner's Lap Cloth

At SAFF (Southeast Animal Fiber Fair) this year, I noticed lots of spinners, me included, with fiber stuck to their laps. This is clearly not a new problem, but it was more obvious to me this time, maybe because there were so many spinners in one place. I also saw a couple of people with fabric cloths, a bit like napkins, across their laps while spinning. Brilliant!

When I got home, I looked around online and found a few "spinner's lap cloth" type things. Several had a dark side and a light side, kind of like the Force. The purpose is to make it easier to see the fiber you are spinning--light fiber on dark cloth, dark fiber on light cloth. I decided to make my own version, with a pocket for each side. I like how it turned out.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flu Shot Day!

Thursday was our annual flu shot day. Having come down with the flu just after Christmas, twice, I've decided that I would rather have my family get flu shots. This was the "in bed for days, with fever, body aches and terrible chest congestion" kind of flu. And that was followed by several more weeks of recovery.

So, in order to minimize flu shot trauma, we make a morning of it. The children and I get our shots then head to a store for treats and then out to lunch.

Here are the before and after pictures:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spinning Cotton

A little over a year ago I took a spinning class. (Not the kind with stationary bicycles--silly reader!). It was a beginner class on using a spinning wheel to turn fiber into string. I loved it and a spinner was born.

In one year, I went from no wheel to two wheels and I have my eye on a third. There is an astonishing amount to learn, like types of wheels, breeds of sheep and their wool, and loads of spinning and plying techniques.

Next on my list of things to learn is spinning cotton. There are other plant fibers to spin, including something called tencel which is a tree fiber. But cotton is my current challenge. I found a pretty good deal on some used cotton cards- those brush things you use to line up fiber for spinning.

So, with new-to-me carders in hand, I pulled out a couple of cotton bolls that friends had given me, probably as a joke. I brushed them into punis (a word I just learned for a type of cotton preparation for spinning) and tried spinning it. I made string! It's a little lumpy bumpy, but it's holding together.

Next, I'm going to try carding wool into rolags.

Wordless Wednesday--Caribbean

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Best Idea I've Had Lately

Sometimes my ideas work and sometimes they don't. This one is a winner. I've had vacation scrapbook supplies sitting around for months. Okay, years. My perfectionist tendencies kept me from starting. You know how that goes-if I can't do it perfectly, why start?

Time to get over it! To be frank, it wasn't going to be perfect anyway. So, here's the idea--turn the children loose with photos, scrapbook paper, glue sticks and stickers. The only rule is that they have to leave room to label who's who and where they are.

It looks like, in less than an hour, our 2008 Grand Cayman trip will finally be documented in a finished scrapbook! These scrapbook pages won't impress the experts, but I'm thrilled to pieces and they will mean more to us in the future than any "perfect" page I could create.

Have you had any great ideas lately?