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Ice Storm 2013

What an interesting weekend….

We were slammed with an ice storm that started Saturday afternoon with freezing rain and lasted until Sunday morning.

While the ice does look pretty:

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Too much of it is destructive:

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Our road was partially blocked by downed branches and other branches hanging so low from the weight of the ice that cars couldn’t make it under them. My hubby and I cleared up what we could in front of our house and a few of our neighbors homes so that traffic could get through. One of our neighbors also had a large branch blocking her driveway and since she has her 90ish year old mom living with her, we didn’t want them trapped so we moved that as well.

Our small area appears to be one of the few areas that did not lose power. Wires are down all over town but we seem to not be on the town power grid.

My mom and stepdad lost power Saturday night so Sunday morning they called the hotel in town for a room. But when they went to check in in the early afternoon…the hotel did not have power either!

Luckily, we have a spare bedroom so they are staying with us until they have power again. Their house is close enough that they can check on things and make sure they don’t have any pipes burst and make sure the cats are okay.

We will have a white Christmas this year…made primarily of ice.

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Where Did November Go?

This past month has flown by. Halloween brought a nasty lung infection that took a week of antibiotics plus an antibiotic shot to get rid of. We also traveled to Georgia for a friend’s wedding plus a mini vacation. (Pictures to follow at end of post).

This week was the monthly craft group meeting and we played around with making pot holders, hot pads, and/or mug rugs. I got mine pieced together but forgot my batting at home so I didn’t get to actually sew it together.

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This month I also helped my mom put together her new “toy” (I’m jealous):

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I’m still trying to finish up the gift for my cousin’s baby shower which is this Saturday. If I get it finished in time, then I should have pictures up later this weekend.

Georgia pictures time!

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Oh yeah! I almost forgot. I’ve also been playing with a small embroidery practice piece, mixing in different stitches.

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Instagram – photo differences

I decided to go ahead and try out Instagram. What Instagram is, for those that don’t know, appears to be a photo program for cell phones. You take a picture then you can crop, change lighting, etc.

Examples:

First picture was taken with the normal phone camera:

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In the next 2 photos I used Instagram and played with the effects:

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So I was able to turn the photo black and white in one. And in another I was able to brighten up the colors a bit.

Would you like a close up of the little bit of embroidery I’ve done so far?

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This tree uses one strand each of DMC 783 (gold), 433 (dk brown), and 301 (copper). Done in a stem stitch.

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The water lily is made using 2 strands DMC 956 (pink) with lazy daisy stitches. The leaves are made with 2 strands of a green variegated which I’m not sure of the brand. The grass uses the same green. The small pink flowers are a French knot made with 1 strand of DMC 891. The rocks are…not to my liking but they are made with 2 strands of a dark grey DMC 3787.

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The tree here is my first tree and it looks it. Haha. Stem stitch. One strand each of DMC 3829 (muted gold), 433, and 301.

I plan to add leaves to the big tree. Grass at the base of each tree. A few more trees and stumps. And I’d like to figure out how to make a tiny cardinal in the big tree. Maybe a fallen log or two. A winding path. Maybe a small rowboat in the right corner “pond”.

I’m not sure what else yet.

Vacation – New Jersey/New York

(pictures will be at the end of the post).
On Thursday last week, my hubby and I headed out early to start our vacation. Hubby’s sister’s baby shower was on Sunday in New Jersey so we decided to combine our anniversary trip with the trip to New Jersey for the baby shower. Thursday was dedicated to driving to New Jersey. 13 hours later, after tons of construction and a map that was not quite correct for the area near the hotel, we finally arrived.

Friday, we spent the whole day walking around Manhattan island. Over 10 miles walked! We started at the Port Authority. Hit Broadway. Central Park. Saw The Met where we met up with A, hubby’s sister. Went back downtown. Met A’s fiancé.

By then we were exhausted so we went back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

Saturday, we met up with A and her fiancé in New Jersey and took the subway to the World Trade Center. Its sad to think about what happened back on 9-11 and to see how even 12 years later, things are still in the process of being rebuilt. MF, A’s fiancé, was two blocks away when it happened. He shared with us some of what he experienced. (which I’m not going to share here because it’s his story to share).

We walked through Chinatown, Little Italy, and other downtown areas. Lunch at a bistro. Then back to the World Trade Center area.

Sunday was the baby shower where A got a ton of presents for the baby. 7-8 weeks and our new nephew will be here!

Now for what you are probably waiting for, pictures!

Our hotel room:

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I knew I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money for a purse, but I still had to stop in and check things out:

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Central Park:

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Love the architecture on some of the buildings:

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I saw this little place and had to take the picture to share with Mom:

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The World Trade Center, monument, and sculpture:

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Spring has Arrived 2013

All the windows in the house are open. It’s 70 degrees outside. The sun is shining.

Spring, that fickle season in Michigan, has finally decided to arrive.

My Japanese maple is budding:

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My lilac tree is showing signs of life:

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And the spring flowers have picked up their pretty little heads to say hello:

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What a gorgeous day today!

 

(please ignore the debris/dead limbs in the flowerbeds…this is the first really nice day we’ve had so I haven’t had a chance to clean them all out yet).

A Penny In A…

Pennies show up in the darnedest places.

Penny in a tote:

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Penny in a box:

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Pennies can show up in a sink:

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And…a dishwasher:

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Sometimes the blanket on the couch can swallow a Penny:

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Penny purrito:

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Pennies are small enough to fit anywhere…really:

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Hm, can’t quite fit “in” this one:

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Anniversary Trip

Two weekends ago, my Hubby J and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary by going to Chicago. Lucky us…NATO was in town too…

Which meant that yet again, we didn’t get to go to the Shed Aquarium. (that just means another trip in the future!).

But we did meet up with some of our really good friends and went to the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, rode the Red Line and the Purple Line, went to a couple good restaurants, and the Chicago Botanical Garden.

Pictures! (I know… That’s what you’re waiting for right?).
Taken during our stroll up and down the Mag Mile:

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This was a store front on the Mag Mile:

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Chicago Botanical Garden:

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Did you know that a rock tied with a black string means “do not enter”? I found that out when we got to this point in the gardens:

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Goals for 2012

Since I did a recap of 2011, it’s only fair (I think) to do a Goals for 2012 post as well.

For 2011, I crocheted 6 blankets that were for donation to a cancer center. Time got away from me though (my own fault) and I did not get them to the cancer center before 2011 ended, so they will be the first donation made in 2012.

 

Crochet Goals:

  • This year’s goal is to aim for 10 donation blankets. Again, my work schedule will be the deciding factor as to if I get that many made, plus whether or not I have baby showers/wedding showers to make any for. And if I get any more custom orders for blankets, scarves, or whatever else crocheted.
  • Another goal is to use up more of my yarn stash than I buy. Hard to do though, isn’t it? All those skeins of yarn in the stores, calling our names, saying please save me. And of course, sometimes you need a specific color to match what you have at home, and while you’re there looking you find those three orphan skeins looking for a home. It’s not right to leave them behind, is it?
  • I also want to learn a few more patterns and stitches this year, even if I don’t do much with them other than practice swatches. You never know when that experience will come in handy down the road.
  • While we’re on that subject, I think I want to set a goal of trying to create my own patterns as well. Why not, right? The worst that happens is that it doesn’t work out and I hide the attempts away in the cupboard!

 

Non-crochet related goals include:

  • Painting the kitchen, putting up a tin tile backsplash (saw it in a decorating book), changing out cabinet hardware. Basically trying to freshen up our kitchen that was decorated years ago by an 80 year old lady.
  • Practicing more with canvas painting and wood painting. I think the wood items are more forgiving and turn out better, but the canvas is fun!
  • Getting back into writing more – I have a story running around in my head and I need to write it down before it disappears to show up in someone else’s brain.
  • Making my fabric butterflies and maybe dragonflies to hang on my Wife Cave walls.
  • Experimenting more with cooking.

 

What are some of YOUR goals?

Recap of 2011 with Little Orphan Skein

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I didn’t know what I expected from it. I knew I wanted it to be about crafts, mostly crocheting, but I didn’t have a full plan as to what was going to be said, shown, or done.

Guess what this blog has done for me? It’s made me focus more on my creative side! When my work schedule permits, I do a lot of crocheting, experiment a little more with cooking, and focus more on what can be done with color rather than just sticking with the tried and true blues. While I don’t sit down with a color wheel and try to plan out colors that way, I think I have a bit of a color wheel that pops up in my head when I’m at the store (or at my yarn stash) that helps with planning out blankets and such. I do still seem to prefer cool colors like blues and greens, but I’m starting to like the warmer reds and pinks as well now.  And brights! (which I know makes my Mom happy…).

 

2011 Picture gallery recap time!

 

Wow, when I started putting the gallery together I didn’t realize how much I actually crocheted over the last year! I didn’t include photos of stuff that I painted or cooked, there were enough pictures with just crocheted items.

 

Have I mentioned before that I LOVE crocheting??  Can you tell?

 

How much did YOU get done in 2011?  What’s on your plate for 2012?