31 December 2011

New Year's Eve

Remember this bag?

No? That's OK. Here's a reminder. Well it's time to vote over at The Sewing Summit's website. There are some great bags that people created from a simple blank canvas bag. So head on over and check them out. The polls are open until Friday, January 6th. And, of course, I'd love it if you voted for mine, but if you don't that's all right. In my mind I'm already a winner, because I love this bag!!! :D

Did you notice in the above picture that it's full?? That's not a staged photo. This bag is my FAVORITE that I've made and has become my knitting bag. It's been going everywhere with me. Never know when I'll have a few minutes to knit up a few more rows!

Currently the inside of the bag is a mess, but as you can see below, I'm working on a solution to that problem. Just a few more rows of stitching and my needles will be much more organized and have a happy new home.

Shawl Collared Cowl, in progress

Here is one of my WiPs that is in my bag. I cast on 2 night ago and am halfway finished. When I started I had no clue what short rows were, but the pattern is very well written and explains each step nicely. I even knit my first button holes with this pattern!

This was also the first time I'd had to check the gauge on a project before starting.

I'm using 2 skeins of Ella Rae Classic Superwash Chunky, which I received in a swap I recently participated in on SwapBot. The yarn in the picture is a little more yellow than the actual color. It's more of a rust color in real life.

Here's another cowl that I just finished:

It's only a teaser picture due to bad lighting.

I bought this Wyoming wool in Dubois & knitted up a chunky lace cowl on the way home. It just needs a couple buttons and it'll be ready to wear. I found this pattern on Ravelry too, but I can't seem to find it right now. I'll figure it out and post a link when I share the final product.

Well, it's New Year's Eve and Jake is playing his new Cabela's Big Game Hunter game on the Wii. I'm headed off to my sewing room for some end of the year sewing. My knitting needles need a new home, remember? I know it sounds like a boring way to ring in 2012, but after the blizzard, high winds, and power outage earlier today I'm glad that we decided to stay home tonight.

Happy New Year!

28 December 2011

Christmas in Dubois: Cabin on the River

This year we were lucky enough to get a few days off and go up to Dubois for Christmas. Jake's aunt & uncle have a beautiful ranch along the Wind River with a couple guest cabins near the outbuildings. They generously invited us to stay in the Cottonwood cabin, which has a full kitchen, wood stove, and plenty of room for us and the 3 dogs.

It was nice to be able to come back to our own little private place to take a nap or relax for a bit without intruding on anyone. Here's a peak at where we spent our week.

Our home last week

Cottonwood Cabin - Wind River Bend
A mosaic of some of my pictures of the cabin. For more details about the photos, click the mosaic and it will (should) take you to my Flicker photostream.

An easterly view from the porch

Buck and rail fence

Wind River, partially frozen over, surrounded by snowy mountains

It's always nice to go back to Dubois. Although I didn't grow up there, that's where I call home. It never changes and everywhere we go there is a familiar face waiting to give us a big hug and ask how we've been and when we're coming home. ;)

27 December 2011

Christmas in Dubois: Christmas Dinner

Every year that they're home Jake's aunt & uncle host Christmas dinner for their friends who don't have other family in the area. There was going to be more, but it ended up being 12 of us gathered for a delicious Christmas dinner.

I didn't get many pictures once the festivities started, but I did get a few while we were hanging out beforehand.

Their house

Leigh, our hostess

Cheese and crackers appetizer

And some local wild game summer sausage. The jalapeno-cheddar was my favorite!

Ready for wine with some charms that we'd made Bert & Leigh a couple years ago.

The wine

A happy husband

What I didn't get a picture of was everyone sitting around the table cracking jokes and wearing paper crowns, while enjoying a delicious potluck dinner with a grilled ribeye roast as the main event. We were just too busy having fun!

12 December 2011

Giveaway Day! - Winner Mary from piece garden

Thanks to everyone who entered. Mary from piece garden is the winner!

It's that time again! Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. I'm sure everyone is frantically visiting as many blogs as they can this week so I'll try to make this short and sweet.

Up for grabs:

This drawstring bag is currently on it's way to Australia for a swap I was in, but I have one just like it that one lucky winner will receive filled with some other goodies. I'm not sure what I'll be stuffing in there yet, but as you can see below I have lots of fun things leftover from the Christmas bazaar I recently participated in. You won't be disappointed!

The rules:

Leave one comment telling me what you love most about this time of year. For me, it's the snow and everything that comes with it. Sweaters & scarves; cold days spent curled up under a blanket, sipping spiked hot cider, and watching Christmas movies; hiking around the mountains looking for the perfect Christmas tree while the dogs run around & play in the snow.

You do not need to follow my blog to win, but if you like what you see I won't say no to new followers. ;) Leave a second comment if you become (or already are) a follower.

Please be sure that you include your email address if it's not already linked up with your Blogger profile.

The giveaway will be open until Friday afternoon, December 16th. A winner will be drawn & notified on Saturday and the prize will be shipped shortly after that.

I'm sorry, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

02 December 2011

For the Love of...Crafting

For The Love Of...

I've been crafty/creative all my life. As a kid I lived in my own little world. I drew, cut, glued, sparkled, whatever needed to be done. And I made up gymnastics and dance routines constantly. In my teens & early 20s crafting wasn't "cool" at least not in the circles that I ran with, so I became idle. But in the past few years I've embraced my uncool & started creating again. Here are some of the hobbies I have been doing lately.

Bead & wire jewelry

I even made the necklace I wore at our wedding. The brooch was my "something old," my grandmother's old butterfly pin.

I also like to braid. These are some reins I built a few years ago.

I braided this chain to create a thicker chain necklace.

And now that I sew I've started adding braided fabrics to my creations as well. Here's another example of my fabric braiding.

I also occasionally tie mohair cinches.

Often I'll create my own designs...

...but other times I'll leave the designing to the experts.

I also do counted cross stitch, which I learned as a young child, and I just recently learned how to crochet and knit (Thanks again, Amy & Jacey!!) I also realized that I have zero pictures of my cross stitches. I will have to remedy that one of these days. Especially because the one I'm working on for my dad is the coolest. A cross stitch for a man?! Yes, you'll understand when you see it. ;)

My first completed knitting project: Honey cowl

I know this was supposed to be last week's For the Love of..., but the weekend completely slipped away from me and I didn't even realize it until Sunday! Whoops! So here is the linky (below) for this week's installment of For the Love of...Crafting.

Grab a button from the right sidebar, create a post about your craftiness, and come back to link up. The link will be open until Sunday, December 11 at midnight (Mountain Time).

Next week's theme: Traditions

30 November 2011

Sewing Summit Swag Bag

When we first checked in at the Sewing Summit we got this awesome blank canvas bag filled with tons of goodies. At first I was just super excited about being there and the amazing generosity of the sponsors, but as the weekend progressed I started to wonder what I was going to do with yet ANOTHER bag! When Erin announced in the Google group that there would be a contest for revamping our blank bag I knew exactly what I was going to do!

First I dyed it tangerine since orange is my go-to color. I haven't worked with dye since I did tie-dye at Girl Scout camp so this was my first step outside of my comfort zone. It turned out beautiful with lots of variations to give it a marbled look.

Bag body and straps

Then I took the bag completely apart to start with a fresh canvas. As you can see by the picture, I probably should have taken it apart first for a more uniform dye job, but it didn't really matter since all the undyed parts were later covered. The body of the bag was cut into 2 - 16"x18" pieces, which was basically the entire bag.

I cut each strap into 4 smaller strips and did a 4-plait round braid. I safety pinned the ends since they would eventually be sewn into the bag & at this point I wasn't sure how long they would need to be.

I knew what pattern I was going to use, but I wasn't sure how to decorate it yet so it sat for a few weeks after that.

In the meantime I participated in the Post Sewing Summit swap and made this fun mini for my partner, Becky. I really enjoyed this simple foundation piecing technique and thought it would be a fun way to highlight some of my favorite designer fabrics.

I started with some of my newly acquired Outfoxed and went from there. I was going to do a rainbow of colors again, but I changed my mind and decided to step further out of my comfort zone and work only with cool colors. I made a larger version of the Boxy Cosmetic Bag and added my braided handles to the side to make it easier to zip & unzip.

I used the same fabric to line the bag as I did on the back of Becky's mini & finished off the seams with a contrasting binding tape. I didn't do the prettiest job, but it looks better than the exposed seams would have.

Here is the final product...



Side view


I love this bag and I love that it will always remind me of Sewing Summit. And it will definitely be filled with hand work for next year's retreat! :D

26 November 2011

For the Love of...Family Gatherings

For The Love Of...

Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the United States. We were unsure of how many days Jake would have off from work so we figured we'd have it at our house and invite Jake's dad and aunt & uncle, who live just 5 hours away. In Wyoming time 5 hours is practically next door! OK, maybe around the corner. ;)

They came out Wednesday night and brought some goodies with them. Visit Jake's blog to see all the fabulous food we made.

Sitting down for our feast.

The most tender delicious turkey ever! Here's the recipe.

Relaxing while Jake cut up the turkey.

Did you notice the dog under the table in the above picture? That's Nutmeg, Bert & Leigh's dog. Here's Lotte & Lady (Jack's dog) just outside of the kitchen looking pathetic and hoping for some scraps.

And Lady, Festus, and Cord (pushing the limit laying just inside the kitchen).

5 people and 5 dogs, lots of yummy food & drink, and fabulous company!

And now it's time for you to link up with one of your favorite recent family gatherings. Grab a button from the right sidebar, write about your family gathering, & come back to link up. If you have problems linking up please let me know and I will help out. The linky will be open until Monday at midnight (Mountain Time).

Next week's theme is CRAFTING!

Thanks for playing! :)

18 November 2011

For the Love of...Food

For The Love Of...

This week's For the Love of... is all about food! I love cooking and creating delicious meals. Here are some of my recent favorites. I do my best to cook from scratch as often as possible, it just tastes better!

Huevos rancheros anyone?

Steak salad with avocado & bleu cheese

Walnut pesto for pesto pizza or chicken pesto pasta

Fish tacos

And what meal is complete without a refreshing drink to wash it down?

Check out this chocolate "charm pack" Suzy sent for my birthday!

Thanks Suzy!!

OK everyone! Grab a button (right sidebar), create a "For the Love of...Food" post on your blog & come back and link up before midnight Mountain Time on Sunday. If you have any problems linking up leave me a comment or let me know on Twitter & I will help you out.

Uhhh...I just realized I had added the linky. Therefore the link will be open until midnight Monday this week. Whoops! O_o