Saturday, March 31, 2007

More Birthday Surprises

This was definitely the birthday that won't end!! I went out to dinner with my family the night of my birthday. We ate at Bravo (love that place!) and I received some very nice presents. My oldest daughter is the most considerate person when it comes to gifts. She puts a lot of thought into picking presents that the recipient will love and this year was no exception. She found some adorable martini-themed goodies (shirt and purse pictured here) along with a beautiful skirt and lots of other fun things. I also received some books and a JoAnne's gift card.

In more martini news... My friend Ann gave me the most adorable martini glasses and purse. I wish I had thought to take a picture before I opened the package because it was beautiful! It had loads of hot pink and lime green ribbons and tissue - she is very creative when it comes to wrapping (unlike me who slaps a gift in a gift bag minutes before giving it to someone!) The picture of the glasses is lousy but one has shoes (another favorite of mine!) on it and the other has flirty eyes painted on it. Very adorable!

In the pile of mail I faced last night when I arrived home was a tan pick-up slip from the post office. I rushed over this morning and lo and behold it was a birthday package from Melissa! It was filled with all kinds of fun surprises - yarn and a pattern book for dishclothes, some bamboo yarn that I've been wanting to try and the Mini-Clapotis pattern, a sheep tape measure and lots of other fun goodies. Thank you so much, Melissa for the fabulous package AND more importantly, for thinking of me on my birthday!


Bad Dog!!!

One of our dogs, Herschel, apparently loves knitting. Actually, he loves destroying knitting - anything related to it. He has chewed up an entire package of bamboo 10.5 DPNs, chewed through TWO circular cables and take a look at what he did while I was relaxing on the beach hard at work last week:

Does he look guilty? Or sad? Or is that a smirk I see on his pointy little face? He is surrounded by THREE skeins of wool. I had already taken the Kureyon skein down and re-wound it. I think it took me close to 3 hours to untangle the yarn mess.

Yes, I know what you're thinking... "Why don't you put your knitting away, Bonnie?" Well, he managed to get this yarn out of a zipped tote bag!

Bad dog.....

Busy busy

I've had a rather busy travel schedule for work lately and have been to El Paso, Dallas, Detroit, Little Rock and the panhandle of Florida in the last three weeks; Chicago and Dallas next week. Here is a shot from my hotel after a hard day's work.

No really, it was an exhausting trip.... I swear! I have no idea how that beer got in the picture. Somebody must have planted it.

And it was nice to come home to this (my favorite color rose):

One good thing about travel is that I get more time to read and knit (on planes and in airports & hotels). I finished a couple books - Midwives by Chris Bohjalian and The Bright Forever by Lee Martin. I'd recommend both. I also started Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. It's a real page turner!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BirthWEEKs are WAY better than BirthDAYS!!

I mention to Melissa that I am feeling so very fortunate to be celebrating my birthday all week this year! I haven't even hit my actual day yet - it's tomorrow, the first day of Spring; Woo Hoo! - and have received several wonderful surprises. I mentioned the special treats Debbie sent me late last week (Debbie, I am using the stitch markers on my shorty cardigan; hopefully, I'll get it finished in time for Orlando!)

My co-workers gave me a very cute little notepad and pen set today AND a to-die-for chocolate mini cake (oops, ate it before I could take a photo! It was chocolate, after all!) It looks blue and green but it's really purple and green - one of my favorite color combos. We don't really recognize birthdays in our office (small office comprised of mostly (dull) men) so this was a very sweet surprise for me.

But best of all was a Birthday Blowout Box from Allison! She pampered me with all kinds of awesome goodies including two skeins of THE softest alpaca yarn. She and I share a love of purple and the yarn is exactly the perfect shade. It might be hard to see but there is the cutest little spreader, perfect for dips and spreads! Can't wait for the next book club to try it out. The other goodies (not all are pictured) all reflect things that she thought would be perfect for me - and she was SOOOO right. Even the card is perfect!

But check out the following.... Aren't these a hoot??!!! Not sure if you can tell but the gloves are hot pink and have a very cute gingham ruffle at the top. I've never been too fond of cleaning but how can you not want to put these bad boys on and clean the toilet or something??!!! I am going to HAVE to put on an "I Love Lucy" style frilly apron first to complete the picture.

Friends are awesome. Love you guys!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Have you hugged your loved ones today?

A few months ago, someone posted a comment or sent me an email and recommended the book Wild Swans. (I forget who it was and I'm too lazy to go back and see!) I got the book from the library and it has taken me two months to read it. It's a biggie - 500+ pages and not all that easy to read - textbookish at times - but DANG! What a moving book.

I knew next to nothing (ok, NOTHING) about Chinese history and this book covers three generations of women in a family from the turn of the 20th century until the 1970's. I am shocked and amazed after reading this book. I am terrible at describing books so here is a synopsis from the publisher:

A riveting tale of three generations spanning the end of Old China, Mao's regime and the Japanese occupation. Chang chronicles the enormous changes in China since 1929 through her family's story, one that includes arrest during the Cultural Revolution, exile to the Sichuan wilderness and the bewildering state of China today. It's quite a tale, wonderfully told without a trace of rancor or bitterness.

I urge you to hug your family and friends a little harder and more freqently this week. Give thanks when you open your refrigerator and see the food in it. And remember how very lucky we are that we are ALLOWED to complain about our bosses / community leaders / politicians without the fear of being tortured or executed. That Mao fella was one nasty dude.

So to the person who recommended this book to me... Thanks! It was an eye-opener and a book that will stay with me for a long, long time.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I finished the bag for ITEIII

The details:

Pattern: Nicki Epstein Felted Trellis Bag; Vogue Knitting,Winter 2004/05 (Also found in her felted flowers book)

Yarn: Patons Merino - 2 Skeins each - Black, Olive, Hot Pink

Other: wooden handles purchased from JoAnns

More pictures here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


My good friend was the chair person of her school's annual fundraiser (an auction and dinner). This is a HUGE event and I can't even count how many hours she put into this effort over the last year. She is the kind of person you want on a volunteer assignment because not only does she give 150% all the time, she is a lot of fun to be around. She received some very fun items to be auctioned off including this blanket on which a photo of the varsity cheerleading squad for this year (which just happens to include both of our daughters) is woven! I bid on it but was outbid by this same friend!! So today, she arrived at my house and GAVE me the blanket. Arguing ensued over who should get the blanket until I finally gave in, thanked her profusely and accepted the incredible gift. My son (who just had his hair buzzed today!) agreed to "model" it for me. (My daughter is pictured in the first row, sitting in the middle):

I also won a very fun football purse. Isn't this a hoot?!

In other friend news, I got home late last night from a business trip. It was a long day... 6 hour flight which was delayed, ran out of yarn to finish a project while on the plane, lost luggage, arrived home at 11:30 or so last night. So I tiredly looked through my mail pile and there was a package from Scout's Swag but I couldn't remember ordering anything recently. Well, it was an early birthday present from Debbie! Look at these adorable stitch markers with the martini glasses and knitting needles/yarn. And the tape measure has a little cell phone on it. Fortunately or unfortunately, Debbie has me pegged to a T!!!! Thank you , Debbie.

THEN, today the mailman brought another package addressed to me but the evil sender, Allison, wrote that I can't open it until my birthday. She knows I have no patience and I think it's a test. Which I am destined to fail. Happy Birthday to me, hee hee.

Pottery Painting

Last Saturday, my friend and I went to paint pottery.
I selected two doggie bowls and a crock in which I can throw my loose change.
Getting started:

My money crock painted but not fired:

Bowls for Martini and Herschel:

The finished results:

The money crock in its place of honor on a shelf in my sewing / craft room:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Blanket in a Bag

JoAnn's had all their fleece half price this past week and saw this adorable pink fabric so I grabbed it and some hot pink flannel to make a blanket in a bag for my niece who is expected to arive in May. I made the same type of blanket for my son when he was a baby and it was very handy to keep in the car so I always had a blanket for him to sit / lay on when I made unexpected stops.

The polar fleece side:

Close up of the polar fleece:

The flannel side of the blanket which shows the "bag" and the strap:

And here is the blanket folded up into the bag:

Sunday morning breakfast

I love Sundays when our schedule is wide open. No cheerleading meets, soccer games, basketball games, etc. Today was just one of those Sundays. And when that happens, I like to spend some time in the kitchen. I marinated a pork tenderloin to grill for dinner and am also making some Brunswick Stew for later in the week but the best thing I made this morning is a coffee cake. I've been craving coffee cake all week and I happened to have some overripe bananas that needed to be used up so I made the following Banana Crumb Cake from And it has oatmeal and nuts in it so i get my fiber for the day. Ha ha.

Banana Oatmeal Crumb Cake
Submitted by: Carol
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 72 members
Yields: 12 servings
"This is a luscious cake with a rich banana flavor. The crumb topping is baked on."
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Stir together flour, 1 1/3 cups oats, salt, and baking soda.
2. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter or margarine with 2/3 cup brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the bananas and vanilla. Beat the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Turn the batter into a greased and floured 8 inch square pan.
3. Mix 3/4 cup oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, walnuts, and cinnamon together until crumbly.
4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Slow rainy day

I've made progress on a few little items this week. I finished up two little felted baskets. They were supposed to have little handles similar to Booga Bags but I didn't like how scrunched up they got so I opted for a simple handle, instead. Good way to use up scraps of yarn. One was sent to a friend and I plan to send the other one off on Monday morning.

I also made some fun labels to add to items I've sewn (or is it sewed?) , knit or crafted. I got the idea from Karyn (love that new banner, Karyn!) who always has such crafty ideas!! I bought some printable fabric and created a sheet of labels using Microsoft Publisher. Here's one that I put in a wristlet!

I made another wristlet with a gigundo flower made from the Fun to Wear Flowers book and received a big batch of zippers ordered from an eBay vendor so I can make even more.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

"This too shall pass"

And we fast forward to two hours later:

Charming Daughter: Mommy, look at the COOL tops I got. And aren't these pants perfect? I'm so excited!!!!
Mom the Money Machine: Uh huh.
Charming Daughter: See ya later. Going to babysit now. Love you.

Charming Son: Uh, Mom.... Sorry about... ya know.... hanging up on you.
Mom the Wheels: Uh huh.
Charming Son: When's dinner?

And, I am enjoying this:

My favorite drink - an orange martini.

Kids for sale - Two for one if you act fast

Ahhhh, I'm feeling the love.....

Phone conversation with Kid #1 - Age 16

Charming Daughter: Do I have time to go buy an outfit for Monday's job interview at the restaurant?
Mom the Money Machine: If you hurry. Look for a pair of black pants. Very versatile.
Charming Daughter: Will you give me the money for them and a top?
Mom the Money Machine: No, I just gave you your clothing allowance last week.
Charming Daughter: But this is for a job interview. I HAVE to buy this.
Mom the Money Machine: Sorry. That's what the clothing allowance is for.
Charming Daughter: You're so UNFAIR. Click.

Phone conversation with Kid #2 - Age 12

Charming Son: Can you come pick me up from the ice rink now?
Mom the Wheels: I'll be there in five minutes.

Second Call, one minute later:

Mom the Wheels: Stepdad is out running errands. He'll swing by and pick you up but it will be in 15 minutes, not five.
Mom the Wheels: No, darling son, I'm not kidding. You will have to wait ten more minutes.
Charming Son: Great. Thanks a lot. Click.

Is it too early for Happy Hour? Don't answer. That was a rhetorical question.

Wristlet Fun

I've been admiring all the fun wristlets I've seen on crafty blogs so I decided to give it a try. I ordered the swivel clasps and d rings on ebay and the fabrics and trims came from JoAnn's. I just ordered a big lot of zippers on ebay so I think more wristlets are in order!