Thursday, July 17, 2008


So, after that grumbling about not finding any good things on my garage sailing expeditions, I came across a nice estate sale and got some deals. I like buying from estate sales -- while it does feel a little bit morbid, I know I'd like my stuff to go to happy treasure hunters once my time comes. I was lucky enough to nab these beautiful Fire King dessert bowls, which not only feed my hunger for milkglass, but are actually something we need and use, making them okay by Aaron. They're perfect for desserts (obviously) and also kid meals.

And, now hanging in Ruby's room are a couple of "paintings" from the same estate sale (the other one is here). I loved this kind of thing when I was a little girl and now I'm transferring it upon my own child.

Oh, and I'll be taking a break for a while, off on a little summer trip. See you in August!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cookies And Cookie Monster

Yep, another chocolate cookie from the Martha Stewart cookie book. I think this is the last one of the plain looking chocolate cookies that I hadn't made. It's the Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie, which is featured on the cover of the book. They didn't turn out like I thought they would -- more like gingerbread than the gingersnap-ish looking thing in the picture. But they are pretty delicious. And while they look like the four other chocolate cookies I've made, the dark colour actually comes from the molasses, not the cocoa. Sneaky.

And have you seen this? It's Feist on Sesame Street, and it's the cutest thing ever. I've been friendly with Leslie Feist since about 1995 and while it was exciting to see her on SNL and in Vanity Fair, this is the most awesome and surreal thing I could imagine. I've never known an actual human who has hung out with Elmo (though, I'm more of an old school fan, to be honest). Good on her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Book Review: Knitted Critters For Kids To Wear

More books! I've been taking a look at Knitted Critters For Kids To Wear by Jean Adel. It's a book of animal-themed hats (with scarf and mittens) for kids. Nothing more, nothing less. So, need not apply if you don't have kids or don't like cutesy stuff for your kiddos.

Now, I know what you're thinking from the cover: this will probably appeal more to the kind of knitter who favours novelty yarns and shops at Michael's than the hand-dyed lovin', LYS shoppin' yarn snob. And that's probably true, but while I probably fall into the latter category myself, I think I'll probably crank a few of these guys out by the end of the calendar year. The designs are all pretty similar: the book consists of a couple dozen versions of the same hat, embellished in different ways. Some are pretty simple (i.e. no real frills), some more complicated (i.e. colourwork). But they're all pretty much the same. I've got my own eye on Jeremiah the Frog, Bandit the Racoon and Ringo the Dog.

The book itself is pretty well laid-out -- each section (beginner, easy, and intermediate) starts with colour pictures of kids wearing the hats, then the patterns follow, making it easy to flip through and choose the animal you like best. I am a little irked that the hats are sized age 3 through 7. While I'm seriously making hats for Henry and my one-year-old nephew Caleb, I'm not sure many self-respecting school-aged kids are going to be that into these (and thumbless mittens for three-year-olds?). Maybe it's the snob in me coming out again, but I can't see Ruby seeing a fuzzy Koala hat as anything else than baby-wear. Don't get me wrong -- I don't look down upon five-year-olds in animal hats (to each her own), I'm just saying that it would be nice for newer knitters if they were sized smaller for tinier kids so they wouldn't have to do the math themselves.

Update: Okay, I'm out of the loop. Apparently these hats sell for big bucks at Barneys. Yes, the upscale department store, not the dinosaur. So, I know nothing about hip kid fashion. But I still think these would be cute on a baby. That's all.


In other news, the weekend was indeed lovely, despite the missed anniversary. Trips to the park, wine-tasting get-togethers, pool parties... it's a good summer.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You Know The Honeymoon is Over When...

Our seventh wedding anniversary was on Monday, July 7th. Neither Aaron or I remembered until Thursday. And then, only because my mother said something. Yikes.

We're making up for it by having a lovely weekend. Paddle boats!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Crafty Odds And Crafty Ends

Henry has proven that he is not indeed the easiest baby in the world (still pretty damn easy, but now that he's four months old he actually likes, you know, attention) so I don't have any finished craftiness to show for, but I have been sneaking a few minutes of stitchin' in here and there. In fact, I've got more projects on the go than I should, just not a lot of finishing. I'm still working away on Ruby's Stichettes and am almost done a baby sock, plus the stuff you see here.

Above, my Bend-The-Rules Sewing Lap Quilt. It really is, as the pattern advertises, easy. I've been afraid of quilts yet dying to try one for a while, and this one is totally boosting my confidence. Today I cut out the back and the batting and machine quilted like crazy. And it only really was an hour or two of work (and that's while tending to Henry). So far I'm loving it. I'm a little afraid of the binding, but I really want to finish it sooner than later.

And here, another page for Henry's knitted book. It's a chick!

Finally, I didn't actually make this guy, but I get to live with him. Aaron's Great-Aunt Betty is in her early 80s and is totally amazing. When she was young, she studied engineering at university (not a common degree for young women 60 years ago) and eventually became a pilot as well (and also fell in love with and married her flight instructor). She never had any children of her own and Aaron almost thinks of her as a third grandmother. She made this little bear for Henry and added the pilot details to cuten him up. I love him.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer Lovin'

My peony finally bloomed. I swear I'm the last person in the city to see peony blossoms in my yard, but they're worth it.

And the Tiger Lilies aren't far behind.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Book Review: Aranzi Cute Stuff

Faithful readers already know that I went pretty nutty when the English versions of the Aranzi Aronzo books started coming out. I've long been a fan of Japanese cartoon characters (starting with Little Twin Stars when I was wee) and I think the Aronzo characters are pretty cute. So, I liked The Cute Book and The Bad Book (which feature little keychain size crafts) and loved the Cute Dolls and Fun Dolls books even more (full sized softies). Now they've come out with another, Aranzi Cute Stuff which features more useful items like bags, book covers and just about anything else you can embroider Aranzi characters on.

The book follows the same kind of format as the others, with wacky Japanese instructions and cute little captions. Again, the patterns are better as idea generators than proper sewing instructions -- you've got to kind of know what you're doing. Though, hardcore sewers probably won't need this book at all -- the projects (drawstring bags, simple totes, pouches, etc) are pretty simple and it doesn't take a genius to think of adding the Aranzi characters to them yourself.

If you already have the templates for them, of course. Anyone who is attracted to these little guys, but doesn't have the previous books will probably find the stuff book pretty useful. There's templates for the bunnies, kitties, bears, and of course, the Bad Guy and The Liar. So, this is ideal for anyone who likes the Aranzi style but wants to make something a little more practical than a doll. I'll probably crank out a couple bags for Ruby to cart her stuff around in before too long. Stay tuned.


And, in other news, Happy (belated) Canada Day; Happy (belated) Birthday to Quebec City; and Happy Fourth Of July. We had a great long weekend here, though I've been suffering from laryngitis and haven't been able to talk all week. But, I'm on the mend and will have some crafty stuff to share next week.