Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Comfort Food

I'm a little under the weather here today, so when I saw Thimble's Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe today, I was hungry for comfort food.

The thick brownie-like cake batter is covered with a cocoa/brown sugar mixture, then hot water is poured over the whole thing. Very dubiously, I slid it in the oven and returned to the couch.

Imagine my surprise 45 minutes later when this molten, chocolaty goo-laced cake came out of the oven. The magic pudding layer was bubbling out from underneath the cake. (Can I say it - the proof was in the pudding!)

I think that I might cut back a bit on the sugar and increase the cocoa a tad, but overall, this was just what the doctor ordered for today.

As you can see, I had no problems completing this prescription. Now, I wonder what this would taste like with some ice cream on top....

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Day

We FINALLY had snow a couple of weeks ago and I FINALLY got to see the house in the snow. Thought you'd like to see it, too. When we first saw the house, I thought that it would look neat in the snow, so it was nice to see in person. The blue of the porch roof sort of glowed, but the contrast with the red roof wasn't very obvious from this spot, but looked pretty neat from farther away.

It was also our first sort-of-real snow with Tubby. If he is almost 3 like the vet thinks, I don't think that he has seen much snow. He kept dipping his nose down and scooping up a snow snack. But despite the distraction, he was still the first across the bridge.

Secret Island looks very regal in its winter mantle.

Another clue that Tubby hadn't spent much time in the snow - he kept shaking his head as if to clear his vision.

That face kills me!

The snow was very pretty, but only lasted a couple of hours before being rained out. No snowballs or snowmen to report, much to the kids' chagrin. I'm a little tired of all of this not-quite-winter: here's hoping for spring coming soon!

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Homemade Gifts

I really would like to make an extra effort this year to make more gifts throughout the year, not just at Christmas time. Well, not really an effort as these projects are things I like to do and I want to make things I have to do and things I want to do coincide more. Make sense?

My first opportunity came with an unexpected birthday invitation for my daughter. Her friend is turning 7 and here's what we put together for her party today:

A crafty, drawing tote! This little girl is not very frilly, but she likes art, so I thought that a pencil roll would fit the bill.

To personalize the tote, I sketched a letter "j" and fused it on with Wonder Under and a bit of zig zag stitching.

For the roll, I used a yard piece of crazy, tie-dye fabric (a favorite of the recipient), quilted the fabric with flat, cotton batting and crazy-colored thread, and turned up the edge for a self-made pocket. I left the batting out of the pocket area to make it less bulky and we tucked in a set a colored pencils.

Erin added a custom label on the sketch pad and a fun picture of the birthday girl (or is it Abraham Lincoln?) and we're ready to go!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's been a day of housekeeping here today, both real and virtual, mostly centered around getting 2007 tucked away. The cleaning elves are hard at work and I've cleverly stalled tax prep and file maintenance by focusing on getting our pictures from 2007 organized.

I've double checked my digital photos and completed uploading the year to Snapfish. We have a back-up drive we use, but I like that Snapfish is our back-up back up. We have photos from back to 2000 there and if anything ever happens to our negatives of hard drives, I'm covered. Somehow I managed to skip August and November this year, but after catching everything up, I ordered the remaining prints from 2007. Now I'm ready for any emergency scrapbooking retreats!

I also double-checked my completed project photos and finished uploading them to my Flickr Finished Objects albums. I started this blog to help me remember what projects I've done and what I used to get there. More of my "real" life has crept in - along with the kids - but I still like to think of this as my knitting and crafting blog. And since Flickr is all photos, it is a great way to capture the year.

Check out what I've been up to with my Finished Objects 2007 photo album. And if that link actually worked, you can also check out Finished Object 2006.

One discovery I've made is that several projects have scooted out the door without being photographed. I see a new year's resolution in the making...

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Sending Off 2007

What a fantastic time we had last night sending off 2007 in style!

A total of 9 kids and 8 adults gathered to eat, craft, run around in the dark, parade, make noise and burn things.

We had the kiddie count-down early (at 7:30) so we could all enjoy ourselves and not have to put up with cranky kids on New Year's Day. And here they are all assembled and bedecked with 2008 glasses for the count-down parade.:

And here is the parade kicking off. They paraded down to the dads warming themselves by the fire pit.

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...Happy New Year! And the confetti went flying:

We wound down with roasting marshmallows and just warming by the fire:

Thank goodness for good friends - what a wonderful way to celebrate a Happy New Year!

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Dirt Knitting

Christmas knitting is finally finished!

Here are the convertible fingerless gloves/mittens for my Dad:

And the socks for my Mom (two - a whole pair!):

And while I was on a roll, I knocked out another Kim's Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts out of the spare Christmas knitting Manos for my husband:

It fits nice and tight, just what he wanted and it a reverse color-way of his brother's Dirt Hat. I couldn't help notice that there is a drab colorway going on in my current knitting projects. In fact, this hat matches the mud that is half of our front yard.

Mud is everywhere as the garage continues to limp along toward completion. It is everywhere and on everything. It shouldn't be a surprise that it has invaded my knitting.

And see that skein of Lion Suede - another dirt-colored project. I hope I can cast out all the mud and dirt out of my house when I cast off with this last dirt knitting project.

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