Sunday, December 26, 2010

I think the homemade gifts were a hit...

I had so much fun watching my nieces and nephews open their homemade Christmas gifts.

Michael with his Yoda doll.

Lizzie with her doll.

Lizzie in her knitted bobble bonnet.

Mary with her "Mary" doll.

Madeline and Reed with their dolls. Reed was particularly happy with his "Mr. Doll."

Joe with his Zorro doll.

And a last minute gift:
J with Fred (from Scooby Doo)--J had been asking for a "Fred" doll when I was working on the others. I told him it would have to wait until after Christmas, but then felt sad about that so I decided to try and make him in time for Christmas. I managed to get him done in about a day and a half which is quite a feat for me.

And finally, my sister-in-law sent me this picture of my nephew:
Oscar in his caterpillar hat. She said he'd been wearing it ever since he opened his present. He looks SO adorable!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We just got home today from a wonderful, but entirely too short trip to see my family in Virginia for Christmas. Well, for pre-Christmas celebrating of the holidays. We drove 18 hours with the two boys and our dog Pepper to get back in time to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our own home here in Texas. This is our first Christmas ever to spend by ourselves in our own home. We are excited to put the boys to bed tonight and to get everything ready for Christmas morning. We are so excited about seeing our boys' faces when they come downstairs and discover their gifts. BUT it is SO hard not being with our families today on Christmas Eve and I'm sure tomorrow will be hard too. My family always gets together on Christmas Eve. It used to be a birthday party for my grandmother who was born on Christmas. Now it's just a fun time for the extended family to get together. I am sad we are not there to celebrate. I hope that one day we will be able to live close enough to family to both enjoy the family traditions and celebrations while still having Christmas morning in our own home.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas whether you are with extended family or not. May your holidays be filled with love and laughter with the ones you love.

As a final bit of holiday cheer, here is a picture from our visit:
My parents with all eight of their grandchildren!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enough Said

B got this Christmas card from a hotel because he stayed there so often last year. It was one of several he frequented for work travel. It's not even the one he stayed at the most often.

I am SO glad he will NOT be traveling with his new job. I am SO excited to see him every day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Blog, It's Me, Haley

Dear Blog,
It's me, Haley, the person who used to write in you on a regular basis. So sorry to neglect you. I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last visited. All I can say is that life has been busy. Will you ever forgive me? Are your readers still out there or have they moved on to greener pastures (aka blogs that are actually updated on a regular basis)?

I have done some traveling. We spent a week in Ohio for Thanksgiving and had fun with friends and family. I took pics, but none of them have even made it on my computer yet. We spent a crazy, busy 21 hours in San Francisco for an amazing 40th birthday party for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. I didn't really slow down long enough to take any pictures, but great times were had by all. Now we're prepping for Christmas travel including a 20 hour drive with both boys and our dog Pepper.

I have been busy sewing. I finished all seven dolls.

I made a Yoda doll for my oldest nephew,
a Zorro doll for my next oldest nephew,
and a "handyman" doll for my youngest nephew.

I have also been knitting. I finished the doll sweaters for my niece's presents. I did about four different styles, but these two are the favorites for now. Still working on a shrug that I think will turn out cute with more time. I'm not thrilled with the sweaters (they probably would have been better in a lighter weight yarn), but will write up the patterns when I get a moment.

My nephew Oscar requested a "caterpillar hat" and as I still hadn't figured out how to make a pilot doll for him, I decided to make the hat as part of his Christmas gift.

I found an adorable little caterpillar toy pattern by Sarah Gasson and adapted it to make the hat. I will try to blog more details when I get a chance.

I also knit up this hat for my niece Lizzie. She needed a new hat and this one was too cute to resist. Need to blog details when I get a chance, but for now details can be found on Ravelry. J was nice enough to wear it for the picture.
I also finished this:
It's the Swallowtail Shawl made in it's smallest shawlette form. It's a gift for my sister-in-law Kristin, but as she is too busy to ready my blog I think it's safe to post a pic now. More details to be found on Ravelry.

In other life news, I've been busy getting ready for Christmas other fun things arriving at the end of December including B's move to Houston. He got a job there and starts the 28th. He's very excited to be returning to the beer industry and we're happy that his new job involves zero travel. Unfortunately, this means that I need to get my house ready to sell. It's a wonderful home, but we have let it get taken over by stuff and I am busy reclaiming it. Even as I type this I am thinking of all the stuff I have yet to tackle. This is the main reason I have not been blogging. I've been cleaning out closets and discovering that most of my storage space is filled with stuff we no longer need. It's cleansing, but time consuming. Must go get back to work. Will do my very best to not desert you again in the chaos and cleaning.

So if anyone has any advice on good areas of Houston or good suburbs of Houston, please post a comment. We can use as much advice as possible.

And since it looks like Christmas cards are going to be lost in the shuffle, please know that I am thinking of everyone this holiday season and wishing you a joyous holiday filled with love and laughter!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Like Mommy!

Please excuse the sideways photos in this post. Blogger is not liking my photos today and keeps reorienting them.

Good Night Moon has been one of N's favorite books for a while. I have to say that it has a fond place in my heart too because it features a lovely knitting bunny.

Anyway, N has recently started requesting this book again every night. When he gets to this page:
He says, "Like Mommy!" I assume he means the knitting and I am happy. Although maybe he means the old lady part or maybe the whispering "hush." Hmmm...

Anyway, today we were reading and we got to this page:
And N said, "Like Daddy!"

Not sure what that's all about.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Finally got myself together and sewed the sleeves on my sweater and I'm so glad I did. I really like the way it turned out.

Here are the pics from my photo shoot yesterday. As you can see, J decided to join me and make funny faces. Got to love him!

Pattern: Salina by Kim Hargreaves
Size: XS/ 32" bust
Yarn: 9 skeins of Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Plum Wine (55% Merino Wool/ 25% Superfine Alpaca/ 20% Donegal Tweed/ 123 yds/ 50g)
Needles: Size 5 (body), Size 3 (seed stitch cuff and bottom edge)
Modifications: Knit in the round up to armhole shaping. I also knit the cuffs directly on the sleeves. I cast on 63 stitches with size 3 needles and knit 30 rows of seed stitch even. Then I bound off 3 st at the beginning of the next two rows and switched to size 5 needles and joined to knit in the round (57 st). I had to switch the beginning of round to the opposite side of the cuff. I then knit the sleeves in the round to the sleeve cap shaping.
Buttons: Favorite Finding Shellz by Lansing--4 approximately 3/8" square (came in a bag of 40 with both squares and rectangles)

Ravelry link to my sweater.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Coming Soon(ish) to a Blog Near You

My poor Salina sweater is pining away for me in my knitting bag waiting for its sleeves to be sewn on. It's been there for about a week. Meanwhile, I've been working on designing and knitting doll sweaters and a lace gift which will be revealed later.

Oh, and I've been buying yarn for my future projects.

I bought this yarn a while ago for a striped raglan sweater that I have designed (in my head). It is inspired by Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat.

This yarn was an early Christmas gift from my mom and will be the simple turtleneck sweater Tang from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits.

I finally reached my 250 points at the knit shop and earned a $25 off an purchase over $25 coupon. So I used that to get this yarn for Kate Davies' Paper Dolls. I'm doing a light blue sweater with the dolls in dark brown and the other accents in white.

I also broke down and bought this pattern: Blackberry Cardigan by Alexandra Charlotte Dafoe. For a better picture, check it out on Ravelry.

Oh knitting bug, you've really got a good hold on me.

Ought to be cleaning my house or sewing some Christmas presents. Oh well. Think I'll go knit on my lace project instead. Maybe I'll get to those sweater sleeves tonight. It's finally getting cold enough to wear it--in the mornings and evenings at least.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was filled with crafting and sewing for me this year. I made this:

A "field journal" to hold food for the animals he was rescuing.

And this:
A rescue pack--for J's Diego costume.

I made these:
For N's "Poley" or polar bear costume.

Here they are on Halloween:
As you can see, N refused to even try on his polar bear "sweater" and J decided to wear his Spiderman costume from last year. Oh well.

At least J wore the Diego costume to our neighborhood Trunk or Treat and his school Halloween parade.

B and I also got invited to an adult Halloween costume party this year. J decided we should be Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. So I made a hooded cape for me and a furry tunic with tail, hood and ears for B.

Anyway, hope you all had a fun-filled Halloween!

I'm ready to take a break from sewing and get back to my knitting. I am ALMOST finished with my Salina sweater and can't wait to get it finished. Maybe one day it will get cold enough here in Texas to actually wear it. Maybe :).

J's Art

I am so impressed with how J's drawing skills are developing. Had to share his latest: a lion he drew for his cousin Oscar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Not sure what it is this week, but I am having serious cravings for baked goods...and I am NOT a baker.

Just looked through my November Everyday Food magazine and I want to make every dessert in there:
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pecan-Chocolate Chip Pie
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Citrus-Glazed Pumpkin-Carrot Cake
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche
Pumpkin-Chocolate Tiramisu
I want them all!

Unfortunately, B isn't a big pumpkin fan and the boys aren't always adventurous when it comes to food--although N will usually go for any dessert. I don't think I can eat all these myself without being a two-ton-Tessy.

Anyone want to come over for dessert?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A new hobby?

Or just an impulse buy? Aren't these some of the cutest cupcakes you've ever seen? Couldn't resist this book today when I ran into Lowes for some light bulbs. I know J would be so excited about them, but not sure if he'd actually eat one. They are just too cute for words. Just had to share.

Corn on the cob! Love the jelly bean corn kernels. Would be fun for a summer BBQ party.


Panda bears!!

So cute and girly!

J would just die with excitement over this tower of circus cupcakes!

Beautiful butterflies!

Oops, sideways photo, of yummy sunflowers with ladybugs.

Adorable little garden!

Garden with Easter eggs and bunny bottoms and feet. Too cute!


Sorry about the sideways photo, but LOVE these snowglobes!!!


What do you think? Will I ever make any of these? Hope so. They are SO adorable!

P.S. Do you think I used enough exclamation points in this post?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trip to Oregon in Photos: Part 2, The Zoo

On Sunday we went to the Oregon Zoo in Portland. As you can probably guess based on his animal obsession, J was in heaven.

Our navigator, J:
The river otters were super cool. They swam all over the place and kept doing flips up against the glass. The boys loved them. They were laughing out loud at their funny antics.

The beavers:
This was our first time seeing real beavers. I love the reflection of Oscar's huge smile in the glass.

The wolves:
They had a place where you could play animal sounds right next to the wolves. Oscar kept playing the wolf howling sound until a third wolf appeared and all three wolves started howling. It was really cool. Wish I had thought to make a movie of it.

The HUGE polar bear:
I've never seen a polar bear so close and didn't realize how big they are. As you can see in the picture, N was quite impressed with the bear's size too.

The elephants, Mama and 3 year-old Sam:
I just LOVE elephants!

The African wild dogs:
Wish I could have gotten a better picture. J said these were his favorite animal.

The caracal:
I thought Wendy, the caracal, was just beautiful. She was waiting for the dwarf mongooses to come wandering through in their tunnels so she could try to pounce on them.

What kind of wild animal is that?
J and Oscar enjoying a tunnel through the dwarf mongoose exhibit.

A rhino!:

A hippo!:
Another first for me.

N, Oscar and J:
J kept saying, "I'm the same size as a tiger!"

On the zoo train--Isla, Kristin, Chris and Oscar:

On the zoo train--N and J:

A leopard!:
What a beautiful animal. At this point, the children were exhausted and we were on our way out, but J and I couldn't resist a quick peak at the leopards. So glad we stopped to look.