Thursday, January 28, 2010


i'm not entirely against new technology.... skeptical of it perhaps. i tend to take up products and ideas once they're proven... and affordable. For instance, i only got a cell phone about 3 years ago. i resisted facebook for a long time before finally succumbing to its draw.....

i've resisted the idea of an e-book as well, though i am a moderately avid reader. However, as i received a net-book computer for yule, i have become interested in finally reading a disc of Honor Harrington novels i've had for years.  i decided to download a free reader of some sort, and eventually decided on the ybook reader because it's simple, no frills (but also no advertising!)  and actually resembles a book to a reasonable degree!

now, normally, when i think of multitasking and one of the 'tasks' is crochet, the other invariably ends up being tv/movies, or sometimes listening to music, because it's physically possible to do both at the same time.

this morning i tested out the ybook reader while the kids were still asleep upstairs, and i found out that not only does it make for a comfortable read, i can also crochet a simple stitch while reading, because it's hands free! *does a little happy dance* now, i wouldn't try a complicated pattern, but the scarf i am working on was doing just fine...

Perhaps i'll actually get more reading done this way?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ugly but Functional

while slogging away at finishing my current WIP (work in progress) i was thinking about projects i make for myself. they usually fall into the UBF or UBW categories (that'd be ugly but functional and ugly but warm).
i usually use scrap yarn to make things for myself, and though they may work/fit just fine, i often use them as a chance to try new techniques or yarns... and they often end up as less-than-visually-appealing.

case in point is this little ... well, case.
i decided to test some of my new plastic-fabric in my serger. i had a perfect project for it- i needed a small case to put my thumb-drive in that would keep dust and crumbs out of it. aand....

as you can see, it's sitting on my WIP... a convenient place to show the design.
so... it's a serged pouch, with a snap closure. functional, but certainly falls in the UBF category.

notes for next time: when working with plastic fab in the serger, adjust tension before stitching! (duh.. i know... call me lazy)  also, use velcro for closure, as snap is too strong for the plastic fab, and will likely tear through quickly

i may post more of my 'lovely' UBF items.... or i may refrain and post NICE things i make instead. one will just have to see

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

snow days 2.0 - now with more stress

So. Hubby had to go to work today. HAD to. Early this morning we started shoveling, as our snow-blower is in the shop being looked at (and nothing else, apparently). by about 10:30 we had given in and phoned some guy that will clear our drive for a moderate fee, but as we didn't know when he'd be able to show up, it was back to the shoveling (i admit, hubby did most of it... while i mostly sat on my butt indoors, watching the kids)

Fortunately, our snow removal specialist arrived by mid-afternoon, and hubby dear was able to head to work, to put in a late day and 'get stuff done'. i don't doubt it will mostly be crunching numbers, filling out forms, and replying to copious calls and emails. yik.

Unfortunately, it's too cold to take the munchkins out for more than a couple minutes, or i'd have them out rolling in the snow and sliding down the mounds of snow next to our lane.

here's hoping we don't get much more snow before the snow-blower is repaired! (crosses fingers!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

snow days

so, here in Manitoba (that's in Canada, in case you're from far afield) we're having our first real snowstorm of the year. winds blowing to 80 kph, snow, poor visibility, closed highways, the works. it's definitely a day to hunker down, stoke up the wood stove, drink hot cocoa and tea by the gallon, and enjoy the little bit of extra time with your loved ones.

and, when the loved ones are getting just a wee bit on your nerves, and you've had enough sugar/caffeine to juice an elephant, what do you do? you crochet,that's what! (okay, you blog too, but that's somewhat beside the point)

my attempt today will be to complete the ruffled scarf. if i succeed, i plan to post a photo and pattern for everyone to enjoy :)

we'll see how that goes... now, i'm off to huddle under a blanket with my littlest one and my crochet hook.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Works in progress

i'm going to attempt to make a weekly post updating anyone interested on what projects i have on the go, and how they turn out

current works in progress:

Norse women's under-dress: this has been sitting in my pile of ongoing projects since fall, and is low-priority until spring at least. it's a nice white linen, and i'm currently working on all the internal seams.

crochet: working on a cute ruffled scarf to put in my 'random gifts for random people' box. it's cherry red and very cheery looking.. and is my ongoing 'thing to bring with me to keep my hands busy'

i also picked up a lovely ball of sport-weight multicolored yarn... am contemplating what i should do with it.

plastic bags from plastic bags!

so, i love re-using, recycling, and up-cycling things (though i admit i'm by no means hardcore about it!)

i encountered this youtube article
in my online meanderings last week, and i thought 'OMGs, that's cool... i've got to try it!)

so, today i did a few test pieces, and have already learned one thing: parchment paper is superior to waxed, and doesn't stick to the plastic at all. much better! I definitely intend to make more of this stuff, and try making some bags/containers/etc out of it on my sewing machine when i have a chance!

Friday, January 22, 2010

when you give a mouse a cookie...

you know how sometimes when you try to do something, it just snowballs?

Last night, i decided to make a batch of shortbread to bring to a potluck meal we're having with some acquaintances.

this morning, i decide that chocolate dipped shortbread would be a much nicer offering, so i go and melt a pot of chocolate

i dip all the pieces i wanted, but i still have a ton of chocolate left
do i throw it out? (c'mon... i don't even throw out food i don't like, and this is CHOCOLATE!)
no... so i decide to dip some dried apricots in it... they turn out quite nicely....
hmm... still a lot of chocolate left...
what to do?

i decide to make 'cukoo's bits' ... although i never use the same recipe twice..

so now, instead of a pan of shortbread, i have:
plain shortbread
chocolate dipped shortbread
chocolate dipped apricots (incidentally, these are very tasty!)
and about a dozen cukoo's bits cookies.

yeah... things snowballed.

but that's okay. i used up all the chocolate!!!

so, if you ever have leftover chocolate (fondue dip works too!) one way to use it up is

Cukoo's bits

leftover melted chocolate?

add to the chocolate any cereal of your choice (i use cheerios)
note: add it one handful at a time, and stir in between. once it's becoming hard to get all the bits of cereal coated, stop adding more!

drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

note: you can also add nuts or rasins to the mixture if you like, just add them instead of one of the handfuls of cereal

easy peasy.

sure, you could melt chocolate specifically to make these, but there are more professional recipes out there for that... with actual measurements and such.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

an introduction, of sorts

you may now be asking yourself "so who is this crazy chick, anyway?"
let me introduce myself.

i'm a 31 year old, stay-at-home mother of two.

i'm a pagan, with strong leanings towards wicca.

i'm a living-history reenactor.

i'm a leftist Canadian.

i'm a lover of homemade gifts, food, cooking and handicrafts.

i'm a chocoholic

and i'm sure you'll figure out more about me as the days go on, so i won't get too wordy here. not this time

aaand... ACTION!!!

so, here i am, starting a blog. like millions before me. boldly going where virtually everyone with much web acuity has gone before... striving into the bleak blackness of the inter-web..
doesn't it just bring a tear to your eye, and a bleating 'baaaah' to your lips?

yeah. so.
i've decided that i need to start a blog, for my own sake. to have a place to plan all the HUGE ammount of crap that's in my brain... up to and including thoughts, feelings, hopes and wishes.
oh, and some of the non-mushy stuff too... rants, bitches, and the less pristine emotions will have their place too.

so you've found my blog, be it for random interest, or because you found a pattern/recipe i've posted... or perhaps you actually know me *gasp* in real life! (hey- could happen!)
all i need to say now is..


i'll be talking about all sorts of things in the next few days, kindof introducing myself to the world... stay tuned (but don't hold your breath)