Saturday, December 31, 2011


I am a huge fan of traditions.  I like having something to look forward to every year.  It must be the Leo in me that craves structure, organization and direction. It is the driving force behind why I may stay up all night knitting a stocking, or opt to stay in on Saturday night to bake cookies, or spend hours filling up water balloons for 10 minutes of fun.  Remember this?
The nice part about spending the Holidays with little ones is sharing and teaching all the old family holiday traditions and starting some new ones of your own. Last year we decorated a gingerbread house and the kids enjoyed it so much that they wanted to do it again.  We spent about 20 minutes creating the below masterpiece.  In my book anything over 5 minutes of undivided attention is a success.(it helps when there is candy involved).  On Christmas day we all ate the house together.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giving:Part 2

Nothing's better than seeing your hand knits being worn and loved. Of course in my case the only member of the family to voluntarily put on his hat was my brother in law Ariel.  
I spent all afternoon trying to get a decent picture of all my nieces and nephews in their respective hats, which meant going around exclaiming, "Your head looks cold.  Want to put this hat on?". Most of the time I was ignored or grunted at (only from Matea).  My littlest niece Elodie was a lovely model, but extra squirmy.  In the end, I slipped Meris's hat on while he was playing games on his new DS.  He didn't seem to notice for a while, but I never did get him to smile.  Matea had to be bribed, just a little bit, by Halmi (grandma maternal side) with candy.  I also have pictures of Elodie with her new stocking and I was so glad that I rushed to finish it.
P.S.  I used this pattern for Ariel's "Wurm hat"  I just made a few tweaks to the top, so it would be a more gradual decrease.  One day I will really get on Ravelry and jot my notes down.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I actually made all my Christmas gifts this year and didn't even stress out as much as I have in past years.    From left to right, top to bottom- in a sort of disorganized zig zaggy way.  Table Runner and set of place mats for my sister Jen (from this warp).  Scandinavian bread towel for my cousin Kiyoung who was admiring my mother's set this past November (I promised I would send her a fresh one and I finally buckled down and learned how to cross stitch).  A selection of mice stuffed with homegrown catnip for my cat loving friends and their cats.  Lavender satchels.  I harvested lavender all summer long. A first year Christmas stocking for my brand new niece Elodie (my mom reminded me after she hung up the first 2 stockings that poor little Elodie was without).  Matching entrelac earflap hats for Matea and Elodie ( I made them at least 50% pink so there would be, hopefully, no objections from Matea).  A space dyed striped beanie for Meris( (I finally got to try out that pom pom maker).  Felted wool clogs for Ben and Maggie.  A smallish (if only my loom were wider) rep weave rug for my mama, my most recent warp.  And, a slouchy ottoman roll beanie for my groovy brother in law Ariel!  I also picked up 4 of Beth's amazing 2012 calendars.  Check them out here.  I already have mine hanging up and I especially love August!  Surprise surprise....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I sent out my first Holiday card ever this year.  I was a little late on actually mailing them out, but I held out for a few weeks hoping to get a genuinely good picture of me and my boys.  Alas, they weren't much into picture taking so.... I just had to pick out of my photo stockpile.  I've had a good year and I hope you have too.  Peace and joy in the New Year. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In the oven

These last few weeks, I have been almost constantly baking.  Along with the family favorites, I've tried out some new recipes such as the "Candy Stripe Cookie Stick" and "Glitter Balls with Ginger Cream Filling"(both courtesy of Martha, who, by the way, has one of the best collections of cookie recipes for free here),  I finally got to test out my giant Dala cookie cutter from Sweden, which I wrapped in bright tissue and gave as gifts to friends.  It's been fun, but I think my sweet tooth is starting to hurt. 
Even though I am done baking for a while, I couldn't help oogling these gorgeous cookies.
Also check out all this beautiful Dala crafting, the inspiration for my own Dala cookies.
P.S. Happy Winter Solstice and the official beginning of winter, even if it doesn't quite feel like it up here in Minnesota!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas must be coming

I was so happy to see little buds forming on both of my Christmas cactus houseplants.  It makes me happy that they are happy.  And of course it is a clear indicator that Christmas is right around the corner.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Off my needles

I managed to power through the Snapping Turtle Skirt from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature.  After 3 years of on and off knitting, I am glad to be finished.   The last time I seriously worked on this was poolside on my trip to Phoenix in May. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Snowy Start

The snowy season is off to a good start.  The virtually empty bikeways are so nice.  Crossing the Stonearch Bridge last Thursday presented not even a single pedestrian.  I rode smoothly, right down the middle (this would never happen in the summer), and enjoyed the peace.  Did I mention that the start of snow also means I'm back to VIP status on bike parking, another perk worth noting when it comes to winter riding.
Snow always seems so intimidating.  Every year I  dread the start of snow, but every year it seems to get easier.  I must be getting used to it...or maybe I'm just getting tougher.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is only the beginning, but so far it has been a lot of fun and I've been riding more than ever.  
From top to bottom left to right: Stone Arch Bridge at night, winter mosaic at 33rd and Bryant, bikes parked along Nicollet, Lake Calhoun at sunset, riding around Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis in the distance, bikes hanging out while I shoot some pics. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


After over six weeks of not being able to weave, I am excited to start something new.  Can't wait to share!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Part 4 Mexico-At the Wedding

Wedding day approached quickly and was absolutely beautiful.  Late afternoon clouds rolled in and set a dramatic stage.  My niece, Matea, was one of the flower girls and played the part well.  I enjoyed wearing my long silk tie dye beach dress sans shoes.  And everyone enjoyed the chasing beach balls up and down the beach during reception hour.  After dinner, a professional salsa lesson ensued.  I danced the night away and then I drifted to sleep to the sound of crashing waves.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Part 2 Mexico-On the Beach

Tulum, hands down, is home to the best beach I have ever visited.  Beautiful Playa Azul, where we stayed emanates the name so perfectly-"Blue Beach"  When in Tulum, you are on beach time.  Dinner is leisurely, nights are late, mornings are early and there is plenty of time during the day to lounge in a hammock or frolic in the delightfully temperate waters of the Caribbean. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crafts for the Holidays

This year; I think, is the first year I am actually on top of my holiday gifting.  Only one more project left.  Anyway, after a spendy Frye boot purchase and one too many episodes of Hoarders I decided to sell my stock of hand wovens at Finch's Holiday Boutique.  Can't wait to check it out this weekend!
Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  In addition to Finch's Holiday Boutique, I will also be checking out the annual holiday preview party tonight at Fired Up for some local clay wares and perusing the goods at No Coast Craft Fair.  Somewhere in there we will hit up the Buffalo Occasional sales too.