Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Knitting Bug

I've been bit!
Fair Isle Hat: This is the second hat that I made, but the 
first time I ever tried fair isle knitting!!
(The first hat was just a plain ol' black one.)

 Piano Keyboard Hat: 3rd hat made.
This one is mine! 
As a piano player and music teacher, it was a must. ;)

Plumpy Mr. Hoot Owl: He's so ugly he's cute :)
First time doing a project strictly on double pointed needles.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Panda Time!

Isn't he sweet?!? 
(sorry not the best picture, my camera is 
currently at school)

You can find the pattern here:
http://allaboutami.tumblr.com/post/13968569776/teddyornamentspattern

:) Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ain't it pretty!

We had a snow day today here in Northern Iowa, and I actually got something crafty done!  There were a bazillion other things that I should have done...like take down the Christmas tree, but it fits in so well with the weather we're having right now ;)

Anywhosers, RosMadeMe is hosting a block of the month for a quilt and knitted afghan. I've done several quilt block of the months - the tops are still waiting patiently to be sandwiched, quilted, and finished...and alas, they'll sit a little longer :)

When it comes to knitting however, I have never done anything but knit a row/purl a row, and according to her directions if you know how to purl and knit you can make her blocks. So, why not??  I did have to look up how to cast on, and had to have a refresher on the purl stitch (after I had already done 5 rows - oops!) But, I don't think I did too shabby.  We'll see if I can keep caught up and provide myself with a new blankie come December.

Mom has started radiation and so far so good, school is still crazy busy, and the weather has been all over the map, but that's part of living in Iowa - if you don't like the weather, wait 2 hours and it'll change!

Well, that's all for now. Take care and thanks for stopping by! - Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm still here!

Wow, it has been over 5 months since my last post! I don't even know if anyone even bothers to check in anymore, and I can't say that I blame them if they don't!

If you do happen to check in, here's a run down of the life of "Mamma Bears Fault" a.k.a. Elizabeth.

As stated in my last post, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last June.  July brought her moving in with me and her having a mastectomy and 4 lymph nodes (2 of which were cancerous) removed. Thankfully the cancer was removed through surgery, however chemotherapy and radiation were recommended as "preventative medicine".  So, the first day I was to start back to my K-12 vocal music teaching position, I was with my mom as she had her first chemo treatment.

There are many other words that I would like to use in describing chemotherapy, but to put it tamely, it sucks! And what really sucks is watching someone you love go through with something that they know and you know will make them feel absolutely terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad and needs to go much farther away than Australia!

To make matters worse, my grandfather, mom's dad, became ill and passed away on September 24th, one day before he and my grandmother were to celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately it does not end there. My grandmother developed a bleeding ulcer and was unable to recover. Five weeks after grandpa passed, grandma went to join him in heaven on Oct. 31st.  So not only has my mom had to battle her way through chemo, she has lost both of her parents. Definitely more than one person should have to bear!

I have felt like a spinning top that spins and reaches that really wobbly point but is never really allowed to stop spinning.  Try to be strong and patient with and for mom, which I know I have failed at miserably at times, take care of all the other everyday life issues, and take care of my teaching obligations - won't go into detail, but it has been crazy busy (plus I think I have messed up my back again)!

So, 2012 has been a hard year. It could have been so much worse and for that I am thankful, but I'm happy to say goodbye and so long to this year.

2013 brings radiation treatments for mom, but we are hoping and praying that they are not nearly as hard on her as the chemo, will go by quickly, and that she will soon be on the way to a full recovery.  She deserves it!

On a crafty note the only things I have accomplished since my last post are the making of 7-8 Red Heart Sashay scarves, 5 crochet trellis yarn necklaces, 2 pillowcases, and a wall hanging.  Sorry no pictures at the moment - I have a few on my phone, but haven't figured out how to get them transferred.

Well, if you have stopped by, thank you! I appreciate your bopping in.  I would love to say that I will be a better crafter and blogger, but my attention is focused elsewhere at the moment.

Take care, and may 2013 be full of peace, joy, and love for you all! - Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Good the Bad, the Ugly, and some Prettiness

Yes, I know it's been ages since my last post. Well things have been as my blog post implies:  Good, Bad, Ugly, and some Prettiness.  (Warning: this is a l-o-n-g and picture heavy post)
Let's start with the Good!  From June 2-6 (just two days after school got out) I had the opportunity to chaperon a small group of choir kids to New York City. We joined up with several other choirs from across the States to rehearse and perform Mozart's "Requiem" at the Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center.  It was an amazing trip and to be able to perform at Lincoln Center = unreal!

I took well over 200 pictures, but I'll spare you all of those and give you an abbreviated version. It was amazing at how much we fit into 4 1/2 days.
Day 1:  Left home at 2:00 a.m. to head to the airport and then it was off to New York City.
New York City Skyline from the Airplane


We stayed in the Hyatt Hotel on 42nd St. right next to Grand Central Station and kitty-corner from the Chrysler Building.  In fact, as we had our choir rehearsals in the ballroom of the Hyatt, one could sit and admire the architecture of the building (when not singing of course!)
Chrysler Building



After unloading our luggage, it was off to Chinatown and Little Italy for some serious shopping! Back to the hotel, supper, and then to the Empire State building to see the city lights come on.
NYC at dusk
Day 2:  4 hour choir rehearsal in the morning and then an afternoon outing to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Even found a relative that had passed through Ellis's Immigration!
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
Back to the hotel to freshen up and then it was off to experience the atmosphere of Times Square at night.  Being the music geek I am, I had to get a photo of the Broadway Posters :)
Times Square
Day 3: Bus and walking tour around the city. Highlights were: United Nations Building, St. John's Cathedral, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Hall, The Apollo Theater, and more! Back to the hotel for another 4 hour rehearsal, and the evening found us back in Times Square to see the Broadway production of "Phantom of the Opera" = amazing!
Rockefeller Center
Day 4: Morning walking tour. Highlights were: Brooklyn Bridge, St. Paul Chapel, Essex Cafe, 911 Memorial, Freedom Tour, Woolworth Building, Wall Street and more! Back to the hotel to put our performance finery on and head to Lincoln Center for dress rehearsal and performance.  Still unbelievable!! :) Once the performance was over we were bused to the harbor for a midnight cruise. Beautiful!
One of the 911 Memorial Pools. Words can not quite describe.... 
The new Freedom Tour under construction
Walking up to Brooklyn Bridge
Backside of Wall Street Bull :)
Our little group outside Lincoln Center
The Statue of Liberty at night
Day 5:  Our last morning in New York several of us ladies headed to Macy's only to discover that they didn't open until 10:00 a.m. We found several other stores to keep us occupied and then had just enough time to ride up and down 2 sets of escalators in Macy's before we had to head back to the hotel.  At least I can say I have been in the store! Once back to the hotel it was time to finalize packing, load the bus, and head to the airport.  Again, it was a wonderful trip!  I wouldn't want to live in New York City.  I am a small town girl through and through and I like my wide open spaces, but that doesn't mean I don't want to go back and visit. :)

Now for the Bad.  Before I left for New York my lawn mower broke down, and my car needed some work done. No big deal, I'll deal with that when I get home.  Well, I got home, and my refrigerator and garage door opener both decided to go ka-flooey! Really? All at once??  Yup!  Oh, and did I mention I was to call in for jury duty as well?  Due to the craziness that ensued when I got home, the one and only time I forgot to call in for jury duty, was the only time that I was called in.  Yeah, the powers that be aren't too happy when you don't show up. 

Anyway, I do have a new refrigerator, the lawn mower is fixed, the car still has to go back in for more work but at least they think they know what the problem is, and the garage door needs a second look-see. Some improvement is better than none.

The Ugly.  Amidst all the other Bad, my wonderful MammaBear was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It seems that no one is immune from the cancer diagnosis these days, but it is not to happen to the ones you love - especially when it's your MammaBear! Her surgery is this coming Thursday and then we will know if more treatment is involved.  Mom is an incredibly strong woman and from what we know now, the prognosis is good, but to say that this has been a scary and stressful time is a bit of an understatement!  Your prayers or good thoughts would be welcomed and appreciated if you feel so moved.  Any and all "Divine Intervention" is a good thing :)

Now on to the Pretty.  It has literally been since my last post that I have sat behind my sewing machine.  I wanted to make something that would not tax the brain too much, but provide a little "immediate gratification".  I needed a new bag to haul my piano music around (I wore out the old one) so a bag it was! Easy-peasy and, as it is reversible, was fun going through my stash of music fabric - in fact it has hard narrowing it down to which ones to use.  Here is the final result:
Side1
Side2
And thanks to my MammaBear who bought the new Sashay yarn by Red Heart and started knitting herself a scarf, I just HAD to make one too :)  Again, easy-peasy and instant gratification. So much so I've started another one...  
Mom's scarf that started it all!
My 1st Sashay Scarf
My 2nd Sashay Scarf
Well, if you've made it to the bottom of this post, you deserve a great big hug!  Thanks for staying with me :)

I'd like to say that I will be a better blogger, but past practice shows that doesn't seem likely.  Who knows, maybe I'll surprise us all!

Take Care, and do bop in from time to time - Elizabeth :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Christmas on Good Friday

I started a Christmas tree skirt about 4 years ago and this past November/December, I pulled it out determined to get it done. But, as it sat "seasoning", several of the pattern pieces went missing! I could have sworn that they had all been cut and were ready to go, but alas - no where to be found!

So, what to do? I thought I had enough fabric to re-cut pieces, so off to the stores I went to hunt down another pattern.  Just to let you know, that particular Simplicity pattern is no longer in publication.

Several ladies I sew with suggested tracing already finished pieces to make templates, etc.....but really, how fun is that. In discouragement, I put it aside. 

But, I KNEW that I had to have those pieces SOMEWHERE, so at the start of my Christmas break I did a little digging, and sure enough, they had fallen off of their designated pile onto the floor and behind several fabric bins. 

I was able to finish the 4 remaining pinwheel blocks during my vacation, and then when school started back up, my sewing mojo went on hiatus. (this is the first time I have touched my sewing machine since then!)

Well, ladies and gents, here it is!
Christmas tree skirt - prior to adding fusible batting.
sorry for the blurry picture, took with my phone's camera
The one half has been sewn together and the fusible batting fused on. I had to cut the batting and do all of the ironing on the floor, 'cause this thing is huge!

Here's a closer look at the fabrics - ignore the wrinkles please! Note, this picture was taken 12/15/08!!
I'd like to think that I will actually finish this before Christmas of 2012, but we shall see. Just happy I got this far!

Well, thanks for stopping by!

Do come again, even if I have turned into a terrible blogger and rarely post anything anymore!

Have a Blessed Easter, and Take Care - Elizabeth

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Toy

A Knook!
To put it simply, it's a crochet hook with a hole at the end of the handle.  You run a long chord through that hole and then knit using the hook end. There are "how-to" videos at www.leisurearts.com if you're interested in seeing how it works.  (I didn't check out the videos until this morning - probably would have taken care of some mild frustration if I had watched them first!)  Overall, pretty simple and fun to do......otherwise I wouldn't do it!

I can't say if I like "knitting" this way better than the traditional way quite yet.  It's just fun to play with something new every now and then. :)

Take care, thanks for stopping, and please feel free to come again! - Elizabeth