Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

halloween collage

Our night (left to right, from the top): Wubbzy Punkin; Little Man plays with the lightstick; LM as a Bionicle; Monkey Boy in his costume; the haul

"almost, but not quite" & other randomness

"almost, but not quite"- Well, I was really hoping to finish three pair of socks for Socktoberfest. I *almost* made it:

Last pair of socktoberfest socks
These are Little Man's Tiger Stripe socks. I'm about two inches away from the final toe decreases, but today is officially the last day of Socktoberfest. Maybe I can squeeze the last sock out tonight while watching Law and Order CI/SVU??? Depends on how many kids come for Trick or Treating, I guess.

We'll probably be heading out for TOTing early tonight. Monkey Boy is supposed to be taking his afternoon nap right now but instead I can hear him thumping and thudding in his room. He's probably playing with his blocks or swinging from the ceiling fan.

"other randomness"-
-look at my new Gelaskin:
my new gelskin
Isn't it cool? Love love love it.

-another bauble:
another bauble
another bauble
I made this one out of two different green glass beads, sterling jump rings & head pins. It's more bulky than the other necklace, but the colors are fun and different. I've been wearing the pink and brown necklace nearly every day since I made it- it's so comfy that I don' t even notice that it's there.

-today was my last day of "mommy and me" swim classes with Monkey Boy. I've been trying to get him into semi-private lessons (where I don't have to get into the pool) for the past couple of months. It's been difficult cuz I'm trying to get a time where both MB and Little Man will be taking their lessons simultaneously, plus fit around LM's preschool schedule. Then today I got a lucky break- while chatting with one of the instructors in the pool, she mentioned that she had an empty slot that was just perfect. So next week MB will be heading into the pool all by himself...and I might actually get to knit while he & LM are swimming! Woot!

-and a Happy Halloween to everyone!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

neighborhood punkin carving party

We live in the coolest neighborhood. Our street is all cul-de-sacs and there are many families with children in the same age bracket. The kids are always outside playing together under the watchful eyes of moms and dads. Every year for the past two years we've had a New Year's Eve progressive dinner, which means we go from house to house eating the whole way. The Fourth of July and Labor Day are excuses for blocks parties where we rent a jumphouse or waterslide. Kids are always coming and going into each others' homes for impromptu playdates. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood with so many cool people.

Today, we had a fun little gathering to carve pumpkins. One of our neighbors laid a big tarp out on their driveway, another neighbor brought over delicious cupcakes and yet another neighbor showed up with yummy cookies. I brought paint and crafts to keep the kids busy while the adults carved up the hapless squash.

The Dearest and Little Man worked together to make a "Wubbzy" pumpkin:

helping daddy carve

Meanwhile, Monkey Boy was enjoying himself immensely with the paint:

Many cupcakes were consumed:
all hail the cupcake!

Much paint was smeared:


And everyone had a grand time:

(more photos here if you're interested)

On the digiscrapping front, here's a layout I just did for Monkey Boy:
My Boy

I'm still working on the digiscrapping tutorial. I'm trying to figure out how detailed I should get...hopefully it'll be up later this week. Everyone have a good Monday!

crafty friday

I used to be a jewelry 'ho. I loved earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The majority of my money in highschool was used to buy accessories. There used to be a place near our home that sold nothing but earrings for $1, $3 and $5. They also had bracelets and necklaces....my sister and I would visit the store every weekend; we'd spend $10 each and come out with bags of jelly bracelets, big plastic button earrings and banana clips.

Somewhere between highschool and now, I picked up a nickel allergy. It's mostly contained to my ear piercings- if I wear anything except sterling silver/14kt gold, I get an immediate rash and headache. I can wear nickel elsewhere on my body, but not for more than a day or so. The nickel allergy has really cut down on the amount of jewelry I buy. Plus the fact that I am constantly being climbed on by two very active children means that jewelry needs to be poke-free and sturdy. Right now the only piece that I wear every day is my wedding ring.

But just because I don't buy a lot of jewelry doesn't mean that I don't like looking at it. And recently I decided that I needed to spruce up my 'look' a little with some fun accessories. I had a bunch of beading stuff and some beads left over from the last time I made stitch markers, so I made this:

my new necklace
(the small tag says 'inspire' and is worn at the back)

Now, I *know* I saw something like this around the 'net someplace. I just can't place where I saw it....or maybe it was in one of my beading magazines. At any rate, I love how it turned out and I've already made another one with square beads. That one isn't complete yet- I ran out of jump rings and need another clasp so I have to run down to the craft store later and pick some up.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

love thursday


- Monkey Boy, plotting to take over the world:
plotting to take over the world
- Photoshop CS2

- wearing handmade socks

- iced lavendar lattes

- Frou Frou

- naps

- artwork by Little Man:
LM's artwork

- late night chats with the Dearest

- new eps of BSG

Oh, and I got *alot* of comments/questions about digiscrapping recently. So I thought I'd do a little tutorial on getting started. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

growing kids, too small socks and surprise light

How's that for a title? :)

growing kids- I bought Little Man some jeans at the beginning of the school year, which is less than two months ago. Yesterday I pulled them out gave them to him to put on. Can you believe they don't fit?! And these are 5t! He has been eating more than usual lately so I guess there was a growth spurt in there somehwere. Sheesh.

too small socks- along the lines of growth spurts, I had to rip my Tiger stripe socks. These are the ones I'm knitting for LM out of some Opal (I'll have to post a pic later). I'd knitted the *entire* sock all the way to starting the toe decreases. I had LM try them on and they didn't even get over his ankles. The last two pair of socks I've knit for him have been on US1 needles, starting with 40ish sts. I guess 40ish sts is too few.


So last night I ripped the sock and started over with 54 sts on US1 dpns. I got about two inches into the cuff and after I finish this post I'm going up to have LM try them on. Just to make sure he hasn't grown again overnight.

surprise light- we've lived in this house for nearly 6 yrs so you would think that I'd know where all the good photography light is. Most of my photos are taken in the kitchen where we have 4 huge windows and a very large sliding glass door. But yesterday morning I was fooling around and caught Monkey Boy in our bathroom, his face smeared with chocolate. Check out the gorgeous light-
too much trail mix too early in the AM
Tech info:
50mm @ 2.2, 1/250
800iso (hence the noise- what are the chances I'll upgrade to a 30D sometime soon?)

Oh, by the way, check out Lolly's Socktoberfest Highlights- I got in with my Waving Lace socks!

Monday, October 23, 2006

it's been two hours and my boys are still napping


Because we went to Disneyland's Halloween party last night and they didn't go to sleep till 11pm! Check out Little Man in the last photo of the night:
last photo of the night for two exhausted kids who spent the last three hours hopped up on candy, running around the park and trick or treating
It's hard to see, but his eyes are quite glazed with exhaustion and sugar crash. LOL

This was the first time we had taken the boys to the Halloween bash, and also the first time we visited California Adventure. Even tho we are season pass holders, we never go to CA because by the time we've gone through our favorite rides at Disneyland, the kiddos are done and it's time to head home. So it was neat to finally see California Adventure.

They had all the Halloween decorations up and lots of places to trick or treat. It wasn't very crowded....the longest wait was for one of the kiddie rides- maybe 15 minutes. I went on the big roller coaster and Little Man was very worried for me. He saw all the cars going by with people screaming and grabbed my hand.

"Mommy, don't go on that ride!" he said.

"Why not?"

"Because it's too scary! It's very dangerous!"

LOL I had to explain to him that the ride is pretend scary and the people were screaming because they were having fun.

LM and Monkey Boy enjoyed the "Golden Zephyr" the most. The ride has several large rocket ships that swing around in a big circle. MB kept asking to "fly more!". Luckily there wasn't a line so the operators let the Dearest take the boys on the ride several times in a row without getting off.

If you're interested, there are more photos here of the neighborhood Pre-Party and the night in general.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wot!? Another FO for Socktoberfest!

And here y'all prolly thought I'd up and died or something. Nope, it wasn't anything serious keeping me from blogging this past week. Just a lot of little things like school for Lil Man, lots of work for the Dearest, etc.. I've also been getting back into digiscrapping. I usually blog while Monkey Boy is napping and LM is off at preschool, but this week I pounded out a page a day of scrapping while MB napped. It would be so nice to be totally caught up with all my scrapbooking and at this rate it might just happen. Here's another page I did recently:

ball popper

And I DO have some knitting to show for my absence-
Waving Lace socks, fin

FO Report:
Socktoberfest socks #2
Waving Lace Socks, Spring 2004 IK
Yarn: Austermann Step, Color 10
I followed the pattern exactly (what a change!). Though I think I did the toe decreases my usual way instead of how the pattern goes. It's easy to remember the repeats and after a few rounds I didn't need to look at the magazine anymore.
The finished socks fit perfectly, tho I thought they were too tight at first. The lace stretches nicely and they don't fall down so now they're just right.

I'm also getting started on what will be my 3rd pair of Socktoberfest socks...if I finish them in time!

Sunday, October 15, 2006



Saturday, October 14, 2006

saturday sky 10.14.06

Complete with punkins

Friday, October 13, 2006

a trip to the 'patch

***way picture heavy post ahead, no knitting content- you've been warned!****

The Dearest had the afternoon off today and I talked him into going with the boys and me to Tanaka Farms' Pumpkin Patch. I love Tanaka- they are the largest (might be the only) organic farm in the OC. They always have yummy fresh produce and lots of fun things to do with the kiddos.

So we headed down there and it was a huge hit with the boys. First there was the tractor ride, which just about made Monkey Boy's day. In fact we probably could have dispensed with everything else and just gone 'round and 'round the farm on that tractor! Check out MB's hair:


There was also a cool hay bale maze. LM is *really* into mazes lately. I print them off the Internet and he will sit at the kitchen table for an hour, working his way thru maze after maze. He thought it was "super cool" to be able to do a real maze.

the maze
this way-

Then there was all this:
a day at the 'patch
( top left- LM picks carrots (and radishes and onions) at the "u-pick" veggie patch; top right- Monkey Boy found a ladybug; center- MB tries a fresh off the vine green bean; bottom left- the boys together; bottom right- LM at the top of the heap)

Little Man and I found three pumpkins in the "U-Pick'em" pumpkin patch. I had told him that he could have any pumpkins he wanted, but he needed to be able to pick them up himself:
how many can you carry?

And check him out, Mr. GQ (I swear I didn't pose him like this!) wearing the new hat he picked out at Old Navy:

After picking veggies & pumpkins, visiting the maze and the petting zoo and riding the tractor at least five times, we were DONE. So it was off to our favorite sushi restaurant for dinner. Yum.

A great day at the pumpkin patch!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

cuz gramma always brings the fun stuff

My lovely MIL came over to visit today, bringing something the boys could not resist.


the joys of bubble wrap

Little Man jumped right in, running across the bubbles and popping them like crazy. These were the *big* bubbles so it sounded like we had a string of those Chinese fireworks in the living room. Monkey Boy was a little hesitant about stepping on the bubbles. He viewed the piece of bubblewrap with very large eyes and watched big brother dancing a jig, not quite sure he really wanted to put a foot on those loud bubbles. Finally he ran across the bubble wrap with a look on his face akin to someone who's doing their first firewalk. He still wasn't conviced about the whole walking on the bubbles thing. He much preferred using a hammer to pop the bubbles.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sockoberfest socks #2

Socktoberfest is in full swing over at Lolly's blog and even though I haven't officially joined, I figured I would play along.

So here is the start of my second pair of Socktoberfest socks:
more socktoberfest socks
It's the "Waving Lace" pattern from Spring 2004 IK. I'm using Autermann Step in color 10. I love the colors in this yarn- lots of pinks and sage greens with a little bit of purple and khaki thrown in to keep it from getting too girly. I'm almost done with sock #1- I'm probably about an inch or so from starting the toe decreases. It's going quickly cuz I'm not really knitting on anything else right now. Hopefully I'll get the pair done in time for the end of the Socktoberfest!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

two FOs and a new techno-toy

We live in a newer subdivision in the OC, so our house sits on a very small lot. It's actually on the corner of a cul-de-sac, which gives us a 'bigger' lot than most houses in our tract. Bigger, however, is relative- the average lot is approx 3500sq ft.. Ours is just over 4000sq ft.....not exactly huge. Here's the front of our house- you can see how close we are to our neighbors behind us:


This means our backyard is not only rather small, it's oddly shaped. This photos were taken when first moved in and were in the process of landscaping.
We used to have all the boys' play stuff on the right side of our yard (where the big yellow flowers bush is), but they weren't playing much out there because it was too hard for me to watch them from inside the house. There was also the issue of the prickly bark we had put down for playground mulch. It was so full of splinters that the kids couldn't walk on it at all without getting poked.

Recently I was at the local big-box building supply and spotted some rubber mulch that looked perfect for the playground area. So the Dearest and I loaded the Funbus with about 20 bags of the stuff and spent all day Saturday moving the kids' jungle climber and sandbox, capping sprinklers and spreading rubber mulch.

We're very pleased with the finished product and so are the boys. They spent over two hours this morning playing in their sandbox and jungle climber.
finished the yard

While the kids were playing happily, I finished grafting the toe on my latest sock FO:
new socks, new toy
FO Report:
Simple K2, P2 Ribbed Socks
Pattern: My own- just CO 68sts, knit in K2,P2 ribbing till they're long enough, turn and heal and keep going till they fit. Then decrease the toe. I did something a little different with these and tried the "princess foot" where you purl all the footbed stitches (see the 2nd photo above). This makes smooth stockinette side face the foot. It's marginally more comfy than a regular sock, but I don't think it was worth the extra effort of purling in the round with DPNs.
Yarn: Henry's Attic Kona Fingering (superwash) that I dyed myself.

Oh, and check out the new toy the Dearest got for me. Isn't it cool? I'm dying to get the car adaptor so I can finally listen to my music and audiobooks in the Funbus.

Monday, October 02, 2006

and I've never even been to Cincinnati

cincinnati chili

1 large onion, chopped

1 lb extra lean ground beef

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T chili powder

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp salt

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T cider vinegar

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

In a large pan over medium high heat, sauté onion, ground beef, garlic and chili powder until the ground beef is mostly cooked. Add allspice thru water and reduce heat to low- simmer 1.5hrs. Uncover the pot for the last 30 minutes.

We had our chili "3 way style"(it'll be interesting seeing what kind of searches come up with *that* in my blog) -meaning it was served on top of spaghetti, with shredded cheese.


Oh, and by the way, I finished some socks....just gotta find the time to photograph them! Life seems to be moving in fast forward since Little Man started school.