Sunday, January 31, 2016

Good Riddance

Goodbye January. Don't let the screen door hit you in the arse.

It was certainly a roller coaster month. Up at Disney, down with Snowzilla.

I did finish my first little square that I began this time last year. Now on to February and all the mischief it may bring.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cutting it Close

 I've had my January card making kit from Simon Says Stamp for weeks now but could never find the time to sit down and play with it.

 My goal was to work my way through their inspiration sheet in order to learn how to use all these papercrafting supplies I've been piling up.

There's a lot of fun things in the kit that I would have never thought of using.

Voila, my first copycat January card and the month is almost over.

And my second. Better late than never, I suppose. I expect the February kit any day now.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Warriors of Winter

 The sun is melting all of our white stuff very quickly but yesterday morning it was perfect for sledding thanks to an overnight refreeze. It took very little effort to go a long way.


 The pups like a good slide too.

 Old Pup rode down and new Pup ran behind when we couldn't catch her to put her on a sled.

Hoover watched from a fallen tree with much disdain for all the ruckus. 

Pup was really only interested in stealing our gloves. Chase is the only game she really likes.

I wasn't much of a fan during the storm itself but I do like snow. Sadly, it won't be long before it's all gone. All the paths I worked so hard to shovel are now down to grass. Temps in the 50's and lots of sun are in the forecast for the week to come so we'll be back to green in no time.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Soap Tales

 It's been so cold here I've had to insulate my soap. I was wondering why it wasn't heating up the way it usually does and then I realized it's only 68 degrees in here.

 The soap on my counter usually gets up to around 100 degrees as the lye does its thing. The soap I made last week only made it to the 70's and my oils started out at 120.

That's not a problem in the finished soap but it does take a lot longer for it to harden up. This time I put it in a box and covered it. It heated up nicely without gelling.

 This is glittery Love Spell and it's full of slippery clays, activated charcoal and coconut milk with a touch of babassu and hemp oils.  It's the second batch I made in my new wood mold and I love it-the mold that is.

It will be six long weeks before I know if I love the soap. I just wish I had made this earlier so it would have been ready for Valentine's Day. If a soap could be sexy, this one is. The scent is a Victoria Secret knock off with an earthy clay thing going on.

 The first batch I made in my new mold was unintentional.  I used it for all the leftovers from my coffee soap redo. I had used lots of coffee butter and dark coffee essential oils with vanilla in the original batter so I got a very uninteresting brown loaf with way too many coffee grounds. After I chopped it up I had a LOT of pretty little soap cubes. It was too many for my small mold so I grabbed my much bigger new mold for the overflow. It has a much higher chunk to batter ratio than what I intended but waste not, want not.

This is what I had planned. I added just a handful of cubes to a creamy soymilk and tussah silk batter. Now they look much better and don't smell too much like you just walked into a Starbucks.

 In my week long soap making frenzy, I also made an oatmeal, honey, goat's milk and hemp loaf. I've been trying to use up all the leftover oils and butters so I can get to the new ones that just arrived in the mail.

Next under the dome went some sweet Lemongrass Verbena.

It may still look like Antarctica outside but inside it smells like spring sunshine. If only....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Stuff

 I asked for gift certificates for Christmas and I got tons. I also got tons for my birthday. I've been online shopping like crazy. From Brambleberry I got a new 2 pound wood mold with a silicone liner. I loved it so much that I have another liner on order to finish off that card. Thanks Son and Daughter in Law!

 From #2 Son I got crumpets from The Vermont Country Store. We love crumpets and you can't find them around here. I even tried making my own but they were a real chore.

 From Daughter and Son in Law I got a new Knit Picks sweater kit.

After seeing all those Dale of Norway sweaters at Epcot I got an itch to make another. I bought this one in the autumn colorway since I already have the Lillehammer in black. Now I need to dye my hair red so I'll look this good in it.

That kit didn't use up the whole amount so I threw some Stroll handpainted sock yarn in the order. That's the Renaissance and Koi colorways that were on sale.

 Still on a spending roll I bought some 8/2 weaving cotton from Webs. I hope to be winding some warp in the very near future.

 Then I saw these adorable boots at TJ Max.

They aren't exactly my size but I wanted them big enough to slip on with a thick pair of socks. I hate tight boots. Now I need a little rain to test them out. I am so over this snow thing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Last Biscuit

Right before the big storm I found my Biscuit cowl. It was still in its project bag. I thought I had blocked it. Apparently I had not.

 I remembered being mystified about blocking round things.

 It wasn't that hard. I just folded it in half and made sure I pulled out both points when I pinned it.

I have to say the colors are amazing. There's a lot going on with those smokey greens.

It's Slinky Cat in the Skyfall colorway by Wandering Cat Yarns and it's really, really soft! I just wish my bobbles looked better. It was my first try at them and some of them are pretty darn wonky.

I did love this pattern. It was simple and quick and it sure is pretty. I'm just not sure how to wear it yet. It's more for show than for warmth so I just may have to pack it away until early spring.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In the Trenches

 My official snow total for Snowzilla was ten inches. That was what stuck on my table in those fierce winds. I'm pretty sure that's not all that fell.

 I can speak with some confidence on that matter because I spent yesterday digging out. My driveway is very long and all uphill so it's a lot of work. The Mister starts at the top and I start at the bottom and we meet in the middle. Since we leave the cars at the top when they are calling for bad weather we only dig a path. Trying to dig out the whole driveway in snow this deep would be crazy.

 Then I dug a path to the shed so the cats can go hide under it if they wish. That little gray thing in the distance is the shed. It's waaaay down the hill. That was a job.

 I also dug them a path through the woods to their favorite log pile. Happily, they all showed up for a good meal once the storm was over. One even came in on the last night of the storm and stayed in all night without a fuss. That's how bad it was out there.

 It was still cold but the sun felt wonderful.

I took the sled for several runs through the yard but it was too much work to walk back up the hill in the deep snow. It was over my boots in places.

 Back inside I ripped back my Thick and Quick cowl and cast on a simple garter throw with the yarn. This is going to take forever but it will give me something to work on when I feel like knitting but I don't feel like thinking.

 I got the sleeves attached to the yoke on my White Pine cardigan.

 That was a job and a half. Now it's a giant slog of a cable knit. It won't be done anytime soon.

 All the ends have been woven into Son's cardi. Now it only needs to be blocked and the buttons sewn on.

I did end up casting on some new Lopi snow mittens. You can't have enough in weather like this. I have a sink full of wet ones right now.