Tuesday, June 30, 2009

to the roller coast!

Tomorrow we are taking the kids to Cedar Point! I am excited, just like a little kid. I don't even know if I can still handle all of the roller coasters.  I suppose we'll find out!
The weather is supposed to be cool, which is awesome. Nothing sucks more than standing in line for 2 hours in scorching heat. I no longer have the patience for that shit.
Em & Ev are each bringing a friend, so hopefully it will cut down on the bickering. Today was not a good day. And Evan is on my very very last nerve right now. I can't stand to hear his voice one more second.
I will report back on Thursday, hopefully with lots of awesome pix and funny stories!

Monday, June 29, 2009

is it Monday?

seriously, I can't tell the days apart anymore. 
Bart is home on vacation this week and it doesn't help me one bit.
Add in the fact that I don't get a daily newspaper, and you get one scattered Mom, asking "What day is it?" to anyone within shouting distance. We won't even talk about dates.
I guess it's a good thing I don't have anything important going on right now!
And whoa- how did it get to be almost July? That freaked my freak. Summer is speeding by!
I finally finished planting the last remaining pots sitting around. I've also managed to make a few delicious meals, go to see 'The Proposal' (awesome), catch up on our Netflix pile, finish 2 library books, Take Emma for pedis, and sleep in almost daily. June has been berry, berry good to me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

recipe for a perfect summer evening

take one sleeve of graham crackers, preferably cinnamon...
add a few bars of chocolate...
...some marshmallows...
add a kid with pointy stick...
and some fire...
and you get one lovely summer evening. Enjoy with abandon.
p.s. If you can manage to add in lovely weather & fireflies, even better.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a few new colors to share

It's is hotter than the hubs of hell around here, so not a lot is getting done. We enjoyed a few hours at the pool yesterday, but even three hours in the intense heat and sun is enough to kill me anymore.
Here's a few new yarns I dyed last week...
I don't really know what to call this one. The colors were based on a Basic Grey 'summertime lemonade' ad.
This is Royal Pain, a worsted weight yarn that I dyed to make some handwarmers and a hat for Emma. It will match her Rush uniform :)
And this is 'My Happy Place'. It's a small skein, and I love the way it turned out so I will make some more in a larger size.
I have a few others dried and waiting to be skeined. Better get busy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm in business (and other business, too)

Thanks to my friend Brooke, I am the proud owner of 500 business cards!
I will probably never use 500 cards in my lifetime, but I want to generate some business for my etsy store, and they look professional. Aren't they beautiful? Feel free to pop on over to my store and buy stuff. I will also do custom knits!
I don't know about you, but it was a crazy hot week around here. Two days of soccer tryouts, 3 days of football camp, numerous hours of yard work, and one blazing hot Tiger game and I am ready for summer to be over. I take back all the times I complained about the chilly mornings. I want them back. Please. From what I hear, it's only supposed to get hotter. You will find me sitting in the A/C, thankyouverymuch.
We had a very busy and eventful Father's Day weekend. On Friday, we went to play poker at Tracey & Greg's. The kids stayed with us thru dinner, and then went to sleep over at my in-law's house. There was a nice, long thunderstorm all night. And even though I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to poker, I was the big winner!! HA! We pack up to leave around 12:45, make the mad dash to the car, and we're on our way. Or so we thought. Apparently the pumping system in Allen Park went down, and every road was flooded. I'm talking between 6-12" of water on every dang street. Underpasses were unpassable. We got about a mile from their house, and struggled to make our way back. Round trip...almost an hour. Greg loaned us his pick up and we got home at 3:00. Nowhere else was flooded.
Saturday was the day of run around; return the truck, pick up the kids, visit a bit, go to the Tiger game. The game was great, as were our seats. We were in the left outfield box, 23 rows up. Within minutes of the game starting, a foul ball was hit 5 rows from us! But it was HOTHOTHOT, and we had to take many shade breaks. Tigers won! 1st time we have been at a winning game :)
Sunday we (I) made breakfast and we hung around the house a bit while Bart mowed. Then we went over to my Mom's to do a little work and enjoy the pool. Unfortunately, Jim had cranked up the heater and the water was 85*, not at all refreshing!! The kids didn't mind, but we just dipped in and sat in the shade to cool off. By then, we'd all had enough of hot and each other, and crankiness took over.
It's another hot day. The kids are up at the park, and I am prepping dinner. Trying to cool off. Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

someone just shoot me now

Only 6 days into summer break and I am about done with kids. Lest you forget, I am unemployed girl, and I spend a lot of time by myself. And it was good. Now, I have 2 slugs that do nothing but alternate between the television and computer. Or both. Or neither. That's when the whining and bickering begin.
Evan refuses to clean his room, so he's not allowed to play with anyone until he buckles down and does it. We've been having this struggle for months, and now that school is out I don't want any excuses...just do it. Emma did hers (she didn't do the closet and that is a whole other arguement, but the doors are closed and I don't have to look at it), and now just sits and does nothing. I try to get her to call people, but she won't. She would rather just complain. Her BFF is not only NOT her BFF anymore, they aren't even F's at all. Which stinks, but whatever. (She told Em that they had grown apart and that they shouldn't hang out. Leaving Em no choice in the matter. And who wants friends like that?)
The most annoying part is  that I am constantly cleaning up after them! It was aenough before they were home all the time, but now it's ALL DAY LONG. I'm about ready to spaz on someone.
Oh wait, I did that. They didn't care.
It's going to be a long summer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

three for three

sportos, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

what a difference a week makes.
Last week we were under the assumption that Evan was through with soccer (for a little while at least), and that Emma was going to play for the same team she has always been on. From here on out it was going to be football, football, football. And we were ok with that.
Then the emails started rolling in. Evan's coach for the last 2 years, trying to convince us that him missing out on a year would be so harmful to him. His new coach, pleading for us to reconsider and let him try out. We talked to other parents, to our parents, to friends, to Evan. Is this something we can work out? Can he play two full time sports and give his best to both? The answer is, we can try. Both coaches said they will work with us to make it happen. So he tried out an is one of the 9 boys accepted to the U10 A team.
Meanwhile, I got a phone call this morning from a mom who has a daughter that is friends with Emma- her U13 B team is looking for more girls and will Emma please try out. I ask and the first response is 'absolutely not no way nuh-huh' I waffle between asking and leaving her alone. Bart texted her a few times with encouraging messages. Her resolves begins to weaken. She goes outside to pass with her brother, and juggle a little. She suits up. I'm ready for her to bolt at any minute, but she goes through with it. Even though they scrimmaged with the A team. Even though she was the only non-Rush girl there. Even though this morning she had no intention of trying out for a demanding travel team, she did it. And she made the team.
I have no idea how we are going to juggle three full time team schedules, but we will. I have no idea how we will pay for it all, but we will. I just know that today I have 2 very happy, tired kids. And it's good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Last day of the 2008-2009 school year. Thousands of schoolkids in the metro area breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Ev and his two best buddies of the moment, Joey & Brandon
I was a 'chaperone' at the last field trip of the year. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades go to the Skatin' Station for the morning. Chaperone? Not so much. That place is nothing but chaos. I don't believe there was a lot of chaperoning going on. By the time we left I was physically and emotionally drained from all the noise and chaos. Ready for a drink.
Both kids had a great year academically. I think Emma grew in leaps and bounds and is perfectly suited for middle school. Going in next year, she should be relaxed and confidant. Evan needs to work a little bit on organization and responsibility. The lowest mark on his report card was turning in assignments on time. He will need to pull it together or middle school will not be kind to him. Thankfully he has one more year.
I can't believe I have a seventh and a fifth grader!

Friday, June 12, 2009

can someone tell me how this happens?

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to sit down and edit some more photos, 
I lift up my foot and see this.
It's not a bruise. It's a stain of some sort.
There is nothing squashed on the floor anywhere, and I don't have any berries in the house even. Nothing squashed out on the patio either.
Nothing squashed inside the shoes i was wearing.
I showered yesterday and the day before.
It a mysterious purple blotch on my foot.
I scrubbed it last night and it faded, but it's not gone.
Where in the hell did it come from???

Thursday, June 11, 2009

how to dye yarn with Kool-Aid

After my latest dyeing foray, a reader asked me how to dye with Kool-Aid. In the name of craftiness, I dyed up another batch so that I could document then entire process. And because it's fun.
Let's start with the finished product...
first off, gather your supplies. You will need:
-Kool-Aid, a variety of flavors
-saran wrap
-containers to dye in
the yarn I am using is 100% superwash merino, alpaca & nylon blend. Natural fibers are the best to dye with...they absorb the color better. I also like to use superwash, because the yarn won't felt. Felting is what happens when you heat wet wool and agitate. You don't want this stuff to felt.
Unwrap your skein and lay it out. See the pink ties? I added them because the skein only comes with 2 ties. I discovered how easily the yarn can become tangled if it isn't tied down well. Better safe than sorry. You will thank me later.
Next, soak your yarn in a lukewarm bath. It doesn't have to soak very long.
Then I mixed up a batch of dye. It's all very scientific, so pay attention: I dumped one packet of dye into about 2 cups of water and stirred. Done.
I found these burind in the back of the cupboard and decided to throw them into a fresh container. Let's spice up that blue!
Dunk one end into the color of your choice, and swirl it around a little. I wanted a 2 tone blue, so I mixed up another batch in a different flavor, and set the other end in to soak. See how in the bottom container the water is almost clear? That means all of the dye has been soaked up.

The orange is very tangy looking! I carefully dunk in the center portion. A little bit seeps into the blue, and that is ok! Because blue and orange make green, and green is good.
My dye is exhausted! (so am I!)
I lay out a piece of plastic wrap a little longer than my skein and plunk the wet yarn right in the center. Fold the two sides over to cover, like a tube. Then roll the whole thing up like a cinnamon bun. Mmmmmm...
I put the bun into one of the dye containers
and then we nuke it!
Cook for 2 minutes, rest for 5. cook again, rest again. Continue this cycle until the water that seeps out is pretty much clear.
I forgot to mention protective gear!
Some people wear rubber gloves while they dye so that their hands don't get stained. I like to feel the yarn, and swirl it aound, so I never wear gloves. just like with gardening. I never wear gloves then, either. But I do always wear an apron, because I always get spots on my shirts.
If your yarn is done, remove it from the bowl into the sink. See how clear the water is? The dye is set. Also, don't pick it up with your hands. It will be very very hot.

strip off the plastic wrap when it cools down a little and give your yarn a bath. Just a few minutes of clean, cool water.
Squeeze out the yarn gently and hang to dry. If you hang it up outisde it will dry superfast. At this point, you have successfully dyed yarn! Yeah, you! You can wind it into a ball now.
I chose to wind mine on my uber-fancy new niddy-noddy. The reason to do this is to redistribute the colors around. It just makes the skein look nice. It serves no other purpose.
And Voila! You have one awesome hand-dyed one of a kind yarn.
I think I will call this one 'poolside lemonade'

Monday, June 8, 2009

I've got the blues, the reds and the pinks

but evidently most of all
I have the purples.
I didn't realize how many purple blooms I had until this week, when they all decided to bloom at once. I guess most of my favorite plants tend to have purple flowers!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

dye jobs

Here a few few new lovlies fresh from the dye pot!
First up is Sprout, a wool/alpaca blend. Sprout may look like many of my other greens, but in person they are all quite different.
This one is called cherry cola. It started out life as an attempt at Neopolitan, which went horribly wrong. I was afraid I had ruined the whole skein, but overdyeing with black cherry koolaid gave it new life.
This is black-n-blueberry. Probably my favorite experiment to date. I was trying to get black on the end, but it turned into a lovely deep violet color. Can't wait to see what it looks like knit up!
This is easter egg. I dunked the wound skein into the violet bath, and squeezed out most of the color. It gives it some nice variations.
and finally, wintermint. Same dye method as easter egg, except in a teal bath. The center is very lightly variegated teal with white. Should be pretty.
I have been experimenting with black as well, with mixed results.Will try again next week :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

another reason to love Apple

Yesterday afternoon I spent several hours editing and cropping the pictures from our girl scout camping trip. I got them just right, and put in a disc so that I could burn them.
Then it went to hell in a handbasket.
I kept getting some weird thing going on, where it said that my disc (brand new) was full to 938mb (it only holds 700) when my photos total were under 600mb.
So I divided it into 2 events, and proceed to burn to disc.
And the last 75 pix disappeared.
Normally, I would panic. Big time.
But I have complete faith in the Genius Bar.
I made my appointment this morning, explained my problem, and Zack fixed it right up. Well, it took about an hour until he was satisfied that all his tricks worked, but they did.
Just by owning a Mac and visiting the Genius Bar, I saved myself about 24 hours of grief and panic.
I lost all my changes, so I have to go back and edit and crop them all again, which I will do happily.
Just as soon as I back everything up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

FO-unisex baby sweater

This is a baby sweater I made for Evan's soccer coach & his wife, who are expecting their first baby, and moving to Chicago. I don't know when they are due, or what they are having, so I went with a cream colored, lightweight soy yarn. Perfect for layering. The sweater took no time at all to complete...a very easy pattern that would look great in just about any yarn.
I got a hug from the hunky soccer coach :)
I also used a toggle to close the sweater. I have a bunch of cute buttons, but all of them seemed so girly. Toggles are not girly. At least i don't think so :)
The pattern: Ribbed baby jacket by Debbie Bliss a FREE pattern :)
yarn: Bernat soy
button: Mode