Monday, December 26, 2011


Every year DH asks what I want for Christmas, I give him some ideas and then he buys something of his own choosing - always something great, but never from the list !

This year I didn't have much of a list and when he asked I didn't worry too much since he doesn't use 'em anyway LOL.

But he asked again and so I made a very, detailed list - stores, hours, addresses, specific items WITH pictures. There was now way for him to say 'I wasn't sure' :-)

Yesterday I opened the complete Harry Potter set in Blu-Ray and the Twilight book set.

AND these...

He did good ! :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas !

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We survived another one

It's a lot of work but worth every bit of effort!

There were 15 of us this year - we lost a couple at the 9th hour.

Marjie & g had questions on the last post, I'll answer 'em here...

Marjie - I made the candy cane ice cream twice now and it didn't get eaten as well as the other desserts. We don't eat very much ice cream in the winter so I skipped that one this year - only made the eggnog and french vanilla.

g - the Christmas dinner started a long time ago (this was the 12th in the house and maybe 5 or so before that in the apartment) as a way to plan a December get-together with some of our friends. The first year, Hubby decided it would be a good idea to make an actual turkey dinner as we were either at his parents or mine for Christmas Day and we didn't make our own turkey. By the end of the first dinner, it was tradition and we've done it every year since. Started with 8 people and when we moved, we could sit more people and it's usually 14-18 people now.

The french vanilla ice cream is straight from the KA booklet.
The eggnog ice cream is from Eggnog Ice Cream w/Hot Buttered Rum Sauce and btw, the rum sauce is also excellent !

This is a final pic of ALL the cookies right before I packaged them up. Absolutely no idea how many I actually made.

Some pics of the evening - we ought to (but don't) take a group shot. I think I picked pics that managed to account for everyone. Notice in the first pic, hubby even managed to get himself in the reflection of the window !

Every person except 2 owns dogs and we had 5 four-legged creatures hoping for treats during dinner. Afterwords they all grabbed a lap and crashed.

...and has anyone ever seen a dog sleep like this. I think Charlie was a contortionist in a past life LOL

It was a fabulous weekend !

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The final countdown

so. Where was I ? Ah, more getting ready for Christmas Dinner. Saturday's the big day - and I'm down to the last few hours of prep.

Sunday, I made the ice cream - french vanilla and eggnog. No pics of the final products but DH was ready with the camera while I was making them and not paying any attention to him !

Monday and Tuesday - more cookies:

Some regular green tree spritz for the regular gift boxes and another full batch of spritz along with another batch of ribbon cookies made with Splenda for a friend who's watching his sugar. I was prepared for a difference in taste and/or texture but these are soooo close to 'normal' that I'm pretty impressed.

Tonight I made the cheesecakes - plain New York style (will make a strawberry sauce to go on top) and a chocolate-vanilla swirl (my swirling needs work LOL)

Cranberry sauce is made, the turkey will be thawed on time and a bunch of chopping is already done for the stuffing. Saturday morning I should be able to have the bird in the oven by 8am or so.

Tomorrow, there is still the almond cake, lemom pudding and a couple of pies to make.

We'll be ready - we always are. It's been crazy busy but it's always worth it.

Parting Shot:

We needed a new tree this year and found a good buy on a 9ft pre-lit one. My brother spent the day with us last Saturday and he decorated it while I puttered in the kitchen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

4 and counting...

Red Spritz - done
Ribbon cookies - done
Candy Canes - done

...and, as of yesterday, Almond Balls - done

When I start this madness next year, would one of you PLEASE remind me to NOT make a quadruple batch of these ?! Please ?

For one, it took 6 hours from start to finish.
For two, there are 433 cookies in those boxes ! That's 36 dozen ! Actually that's not so bad - they'll all get eaten.

But even my 6qt KitchenAid had a hard time holding all that cookie dough LOL - you can't imagine the picture I must've made. One hand holding the plastic spill cover on and the other making sure no batter grew out of the bowl at the opening. Are you counting ? I've run out of available hands - had to call hubby to turn the mixer off :-)

What's next - green christmas tree spritz or eggnog cookies ? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Next Round

Christmas baking is my one guarantee of posting regularly !

Yesterday I made a double batch of Candy Cane cookies and refrigerated the dough.

Tonight, this (one plain, one pink)

made 162 little balls...which became

162 little ropes...which became

6 full cookie sheets, and voila ! ...

Oh yeah, and that's only half !

The other half in the fridge should make another 6 dozen and I guess I'm going to need to make another batch since 12 dozen won't go far. We added 2 more people (& 2 more dogs) to the dinner party (Toronto's coming !) so that's another can of cookies and one more can which was in the back of my mind but I will definitely do as another gift.

I'm done - off to bed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend Update

For all I was pretty useless for the first 4 days of the week, I managed a fair bit since Thursday. It was my birthday weekend after all - it was all about the entertainment :-)

Thursday started with our department breakfast at work - ah we stuffed ourselves with bagels, cream cheese, bacon, bruschetta & crusty bread and mini cupcakes - 3 contributors makes for a pretty filling amount of food even if it all 'doesn't' go together !
This link is not exactly the recipe used but the pic is spot on - ours tasted as good as this one looks ! bruschetta

Friday afternoon, a friend and I went to see Breaking Dawn, pt 1 - lunch, movie, popcorn, all good. We both enjoyed the movie. Can't wait for pt 2 now.

I signed up for the Friday Night Sew In and did spend the evening in my sewing room. I decided to take a look at my coat. You know, the coat I started for the Coat Sewalong in 2008 ! So, I'd left it with one front and lapel padstitched, but hadn't done the other side. For quite some time I tried to figure out exactly HOW the padstitching was done. For the life of me, I couldn't see what I'd done on the first side. Checked out all the sites, blogs and links I'd used before and found a few new youtube videos that helped some. There was no sewing Friday night (it was all reading) but I did learn a lot. For one thing, the lapel was not padstitched well on the side I already did - it didn't curl hardly at all - I need to take it out and redo it, I think. This is the second side which I did this weekend - the main body front but not the lapel yet.

Next up - another batch of Christmas cookies are chilling in the fridge - they will become Candy Cane cookies in the next couple of evenings.

And my finished UFO for this weekend - I finished my Hermione's Everyday Socks on Aug 6 (yikes !) and they've been waiting for me to weave in the ends since then - jeez, it only took me 15 minutes - what the heck was I waiting for ?!

Oh and there was a break Saturday night for hubby to take me out for a birthday dinner. All in all a really good few days.

Hope you've all had a good weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Attempt

Handmade by Heidi

Practically all I have to do is show up in order to do better than last time !

I'll check in tomorrow with the results.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baking for Moi

Festive no ? This is my contribution to our Departmental Birthday Breakfast today. We do this for each month we have birthdays to celebrate, and the food is provided by the birthday people. I share November with two others, one being my boss.

This year it just so happens that we're partying on my actual birthday - Happy Birthday to me !

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A UFO Weekend

There are quite a few UFOs lying around, driving me crazy. No idea how many - some are in full view, some are hiding. Mostly they have an embarrassingly tiny amount of effort to complete. This weekend the plan was to finish some/any of them.

First up - a baby afghan made from a ball of yarn I inherited from my Mom's knitting bin when we cleaned out the house. She had a few of those 1-lb balls of acrylic as she habitually made baby blankets for a local group for new, poor, young mothers. There are no new babies due among my friends so this was made up to use the yarn and have a finished blanket ready to go when needed. Um, well I made this blanket last winter, early winter LOL and left it sitting on the coffee table in the basement. It was visible and driving me nuts, but I never finished it. What was left ? 4 ends to weave in ! Lord, I'm glad it's done !

Not long ago I showed a pic of my crumpled up, almost completed shawl. Well, the biggest time commitment this weekend was casting off. It took almost all day yesterday (off and on) and I cast off the last bit this morning. We went out for a few hours through the day and when we got home I soaked it for 20minutes in Eucalan and laid it out to dry. It's not pinned, so it may not count officially as blocking.

This is a close-up of the chevron pattern.
...and the full shawl. The alpaca was knit on such small needles that the fabric was very dense and it didn't grow as it may otherwise have done. I quite like it.

That's it for me - 2 FOs is still 2 FOs.

I wonder how many other UFOs I'd find if I dug around the sewing room ? There are at least 3 tees in varying stages of completion, a duvet cover, a skirt, a coat, a coat lining (technically a UFO as I took a lining out of a jacket, split up all the pattern pieces and prepped them to be used as pattern pieces, but still have to lay out, cut, sew and insert a new lining), there's also my knitting, the cardigan and another baby blanket (that one's 7 years old) - ohhh, I don't want to think about it !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This pic was taken 14 years ago at our wedding. The four people on the right are my Mom, Dad and 2 of my siblings. The three on the left are from DH's side. His cousin is in the front and her husband, Jacques (left) and her Dad (right) are standing behind her. In the absence of his parents, Carole & Jacques stood up with Bob as his family. They are two of the most gentle souls I know and we love them dearly.

A week ago today, Jacques suffered a stroke and we spent some time on Sunday at the hospital. Things seemed a bit hopeful at the time but it was just too much and he left us early Thursday morning.

Rest in peace, Jacques, we love you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My evening in pictures...

'nuff said ? :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SFTTU #9 - Hearts & Flowers

No sewing going on, so I've got to use knitting for my posts. I remembered I finished a couple pairs of socks in the spring & early summer and never posted them. The first pair is the next in my Socks from the Toe Up project - Hearts & Flowers.

Knit Picks Gloss Fingering - Burgundy
Purchased online December 12, 2010
2.5 mm needle
CO May 12, 2011
JMCO 12 st each toe
inc to 64 st for foot
inc to 57 st at end of gusset
slip stitch heel
CO JSSBO Jul 3, 2011

Many tears here last week. Our 'other' kiddies visited us for a week while their daddies were away. Below are Lester, Sophie, my Alex and Kalani. On the day our friends returned, Sophie's right eye was in a bad state and they were faced with the most difficult decision doggy parents have to make. We're gonna miss you Soph girl.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


If I did all of the increases correctly, that's at least how many stitches I have to knit to complete the ruffle of my latest knitting project, the 'Ubiquitous Kate' shawl. Rav Link

This is my first shawl - started Jul 23 - g how on earth did you do this in less than 3 weeks !!??

I'd been wanting to make a shawl but didn't want a lacy one. A dense fabric seemed to suit me better and would be warmer (hopefully) in the office. Next one might be lacy.

I had no idea what I was in start with 2 stitches and increase every single row. Each pattern repeat increases 72 stitches and I had to do an extra repeat. There were 477 stitches before the increases for the ruffle. After those rows were done, there were (give or take) 1430 stitches. The pattern calls for 12 rows of ruffle - my yarn is finer than I expected and if 12 rows doesn't do it, I'll have to add a few more. I've got 3 full balls of yarn left, hope it's enough.

Here's a pic - a shawl before blocking is just a pile of yarn :-)

The flu bug caught me again - laundry got finished, but other than that this weekend was lots of movies and lots of knitting.

Did you all have a good weekend ?