28 February 2013

An Evening Stroll

Jake took off this morning at sun up with his truck, trailer, and horse to gather some cows for work.

A prairie sunrise

And he came home just before sun down, which is rare.  Normally I don't see him until after dark.

So he got a little playtime with the corgi and then we went on a short walk.

Corrals at sunset

The homestead

Rough housing in the snow

"G" the mustang decided to join us on the last part of our walk since we cut through his pasture.  He came out to join us and followed us all the way back over to where El Gato was getting his grain after a good day's work.

"G" & Jake

It was a lovely way to wrap up a nice day.  Thanks honey!  :)

25 February 2013

Stash Blaster: Week 8 - The Outhouse Edition

Last summer we had some plumbing troubles for several days and I was VERY thankful for the homestead outhouse.

Although we were still able to do dishes and get drinking water from the tap, the septic had backed up into the shower & tub which made bathing difficult.  So what did I do? Sponge bath on the porch!

I filled up a bucket, took it outside, and thanked God that it was 90 degrees and that we have no neighbors within 2 miles of the house.  :)

Before I did that though I decided that if I did in fact have to take a sponge bath outside I was going to do so as luxuriously as I could with what I had.  So I found a nice fluffy towel and some yummy smelling soap.  I also found a washrag pattern and knitted myself up a new washrag for the occasion.  It was a very quick knit (about an hour) with great texture and was an easy to memorize pattern.

It was actually kind of a fun experience and helped me realize what I can deal with, but I'm glad I don't have to do this on a regular basis.  Especially in the winter time!

So what does this have to do with this week's Stash Blaster?

Well, I have lots of cotton yarn from when I was first learning to knit and with Baby Tuckey's arrival just a few weeks away I thought we could use more hand knit washcloths around the house.  I whipped up these 4 in no time and have another one on the needles now. I'll probably end up making a giant stack of them and use them as gifts since I know of a lot of babies that are arriving this year!

How'd your week go?  What did you get done?  Grab a button from the sidebar and link up your most recent finish(es)!

18 February 2013

Stash Blaster: Week 7

Well, I don't have any handmade completed projects to share with you this week.  Not because I didn't finish, but because it's a secret until the recipient receives it.  :)

I did make progress on my Scrappy Trip Around the World.  The blocks are ready to be sewn back together and the batting and backing are on their way!  There's also been progress on a knitted baby blanket and another pair of adult socks.

Scrappy Trip-along strips ready to be sewn together

I also made some quick birthday cards for a couple birthdays that snuck up on me.  It was fun to go through my old scrapbooking things to see what I had on hand, and to use up some of those tiny scraps that I just can't ever seem to get rid of.

Birthday cards

Mostly this past week has been dedicated to getting ready for Wiggles' arrival in a few weeks.

Wednesday was my 33 week appointment and our first birthing class.  I'm very happy that Jake was able to get the time off from work to go with me, he got to hear Baby's heartbeat again which is always fun.  Then we (he) drove home in a snowstorm, so I'm extra glad that he went with me!  ;)

We've also been rearranging furniture and cleaning out closets to make room for everything.

Travel system (stroller/car seat) from Jake's cousin

I moved the blankets we'd been storing in this footlocker....

A beautiful old footlocker that Jake's had forever, is becoming a toy box

...into this armoire, which was full of winter outerwear.... (the handknits are staying in the top section)

Something's missing....Any guesses?

...and the winter clothes went into a closet that first had to be decluttered of older clothes we never wear anymore.  Phew!!

We (well mostly Jake) also moved all the furniture in our bedroom to make a nursery corner. Although our house has 3 bedrooms things just worked out better for Baby to sleep with us for now.

Bedroom rearranged, ready for Baby

The dresser will be the changing table and I'm auditioning the Tula Pink fabric as a cover to protect the finish.


Diaper basket

So although there wasn't much going on in the handmade department last week, there was plenty of other things to keep us busy!

Me at 33 weeks, freezing in the winter wind

Your turn!  Share your finishes, or almost finishes, from last week by grabbing a Stash Blaster button from the sidebar and linking up below.

17 February 2013

Sunday Brunch is Back!

I don't know if any of my old followers are still around or not, but I used to do a post called Sunday Brunch where I'd share a favorite recipe that I made that week.  Looking back through my archives I just realized that it's been over a year (where the heck did 2012 go?!?) since I last shared my love of cooking on my blog.

I've missed those posts, and hopefully you have too, so I've decided to bring them back.

This is what I've been cooking the past couple weeks...

Dijon-crusted chicken with a butter & parmesan pasta

Steak & potato skillet

Cubed Steak Italiano (the veggies are part of the recipe) with Italian pasta and avocado

Huevos Rancheros

Hamburger Steak

Ground beef tacos

Beef & Spinach Lo Mein (with broccoli instead of spinach)

Meatloaf and sauteed bok choy

If you followed any of the recipe links above you probably noticed that they all are from Taste of Home.  I love my ToH cookbook because they have delicious, easy meals and use ingredients that you can actually find in rural America, where speciality markets don't exist.  I've also heard good things about America's Test Kitchen, I'm just not sure which cookbook to try.

What are your favorite recipes and/or cookbooks?

12 February 2013

Stash Blaster: Week 6

Egads!  It's Tuesday night all ready??  Yikes!!

First things first, the winner of the January Stash Blaster giveaway is Mandy of Loverbunny Designs with her Camp Out Fingerless Mitts.  She won this fun little coin purse (pictured below) that I made which will be filled with some of my favorite notions.

Congratulations Mandy!  I'll be sending you an email shortly.

For last week's project I decided to make Baby Tuckey a bonnet from Vintage Knits for Modern Baby.  I used a skein of Belmoral Shetland wool that I received (along with other yarn & fiber) as trade for spinning some buffalo roving for the owner of Wyoming Wool Works in Dubois.

I chose this pattern to be my first from this book because I loved the modern take on an older style cap and thought it would look great on either a boy or a girl.  It still needs a button and I'm glad to have a lovely stash of vintage buttons to choose from.  The pattern was well written and I was able to complete the bonnet in a few hours.  The one complaint I have is I couldn't find a stitchionary in the book and since there can be different abbreviations for stitches I got a little confused on one of the decreases.  Luckily I was able to figure it out and continue on.

Modern Baby Bonnet for Baby Tuckey

I also started a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt using my Simply Color jelly roll.  If you haven't seen the Instagram mania for this quilt you must, just search #scrappytripalong and see what all the hubbub is about!

There's also a new yarn up in my Etsy shop today.  I'm not much for pink normally, but I added a couple splashes of purple and a tiny bit of teal and really love how the color turned out.  It's approximately 86 yards of sport to DK weight and would make a great child's hat or pair of mitten, or maybe even a pair of wristers for you!

'So In Love' handspun yarn

So that's what I've been up to, how about you?  It's your turn!  Grab a Stash Blaster button from the sidebar and link up your finished project(s) from the past week. Remember, that your link-up will also enter you into this month's giveaway drawing.

***A quick note on comments:  I love and appreciate each and every comment I receive so much! And I respond to every comment, with one exception.  If you are not a Blogger user than you are most likely a "no-reply blogger" which means that your comment comes through to my email with a return address of noreply-comment@blogger.com.  Sadly, that means I can't respond back.  So if you're not hearing from me after you leave a comment be sure to follow this brief tutorial so that I can reply!

05 February 2013

Stash Blaster: Week 5

Well, January is over and February is already in full swing.  How did you all do blasting your stash?

I think I did pretty well.  I finished at least 1 project each week (see them here) and didn't increase my stash by much.  I had already warned you that I'd be stocking up on Lizzy House's Constellations and Pearl Bracelets, and thought I'd throw in some feathers for good measure.  

I also bought Megan Nielsen's maternity/nursing lingerie set pattern.  Yesterday I picked up a gorgeous raspberry colored knit (pictured below) at Walmart for the nightgown and also to make a baby wrap to carry Wiggles around in.

Plus my Plucky yarn from December also came the same day.  It's a gorgeous tonal teal/blue called Skies of November that I'm sure you will be seeing knit up very soon!

Raspberry knit

Week 5's completed project was a pair of baby mitts that I made from a mini skein of wool that I spun and kettle dyed a lovely green.  I made up my own simple pattern, making them similar to a pair of toe up socks, but without the heel of course.  ;)

Another project I made last week was a giant duffle for our friend, Ash, who will be going to manage a ranch in Russia for the next 3 years.

I allowed Cord on the couch for size comparison

The bag was inspired by Studio Cherie's Travel Duffle (which I someday need to make), but by the end of it the only similarity was the shape and the webbing handle.  Really, it's just a big box bag with a pocket on the outside.  

And when I say "big" I mean BIG.  It measures at approx. 26" x 14" x 16"!  My Holiday in London duffle fit easily inside it and there was still tons of room.  And the Holiday in London is not small either.

Plus the entire bag was made from my stash!  I even had a heavy duty 54" zipper that I'd thrifted recently.

The outside is denim with a cotton lining, bandana print outer pocket, and 3 1/2" webbing handle.  I did forget to add zipper tabs, but the bag works just fine without them.  I even got to use my new serger to finish off the exposed seams on the inside.

Jake loves this bag, so I'm sure I will be making another one in the near future.  :)


I've also been dyeing and spinning more things for the shop...

100% Wyoming alpaca, will be listed in the shop later this week

Handspun & kettle dyed 100% wool, "Tide Pool", for sale here

 ...and even sold my first skein of handspun yarn!!

Handspun & kettle dyed 100% wool

Now it's time for you to link up!  Any crafty projects that you finished between January 27th and February 2 are welcome.  Also, I will be drawing a giveaway winner for all projects linked up during the entire month of January (weeks 1-5).  I'm still deciding what the prize will be, but I've got some good ideas kicking around my head.  And don't worry, it'll be good!

Please be sure to also share a link back to here on your linked up post.  There's a button on the sidebar that I'd love if you used too.  Thanks so much for playing along!  I love seeing what everyone else has been making and it really helps me to stay motivated and on task too.   :D

03 February 2013

Stash Blaster

This week's Stash Blaster linky party will be a day late. We're out of town for a brief babymoon and to do a little celebrating for Jake's upcoming 40th. There's very limited internet opportunities here and I forgot to schedule a post before we left.

The nice thing for you is that it gives you an extra day to finish up any in progress projects that you may want to enter for January's giveaway.

So be on the lookout sometime Tuesday for the link-up, and I can't wait to share pictures from this weekend soon too.  I love watching Jake in his element, sitting atop of his horse!