It snowed 7 inches between 4:00 p.m. and midnight last night and hubby got stuck in traffic for 4 hours on his way home from work. We lost power, no more than 10 minutes after I pulled dinner out of the oven, but it was restored somewhere around 1 a.m. (the heat kicking back on woke me up). 

So, since we got a snow day from work, I have some unexpected free time! And while the hubby is being so sweet and shoveling all the snow off the driveway, I get to show you some of my latest creations! By the way, Molly, the 5 month old kitten makes crocheting a bit difficult, but extremely interesting. She loves to tug on that dangling yarn! Never a dull moment around here.

Molly and Rug
Molly likes the rug, but she likes the pink scrap of yarn even more. I don't have a picture of the rug without a kitty, but you can get the gist of it. I made the rug with Lion Brand WoolEase, so it's very soft and fluffy!
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Here's the rug again, this time Oliver wanted to be the model.
One of my co-workers just had her birthday and she really likes pigs. So I made her a little piggy. I am actually quite impressed with myself, this is the first amigurumi project I have made where I created my own pattern for it. And I think it turned out quite nicely! I think my favorite part is the tail, you can't see it very well in the pictures, but it twists just enough to look like a real piglet's tail. The ears were the hardest to figure out, and I made a lot before I settled on the final design. 
I'll leave you with some kitty pictures. I've been organizing my office and put an empty basket on my desk. I will probably eventually use it for my yarn stash, but Oliver is loving it being empty for now. Also, Molly really enjoys the camera. As I was taking pictures, she kept wanting to know what that light was and kept trying to attack it. 
 
 
I haven’t written anything in a really long time. Every time I sit down to write, something gets in the way and I end up going off and doing something else. Maybe it’s my thought process that whatever I write has to be perfect the first time; the tendency I have towards thinking that editing or rewriting is a waste of time, that if it wasn’t perfect when it came out the first time then why bother.


Anyway, enough lecture about my lack-of-writing philosophy. I have a few more completed projects to share, and I’ve gotten quite a bit more practice with crocheting since the last time I posted. I love the Fall season; the leaves changing from green to vibrant colors; the cool, crisp morning air. Something I really enjoy about the Fall is being able to sit outside and crochet without having to swat five-gazillion mosquitoes between stitches. Also, the cool evenings and weekends are a very welcome relief from the seemingly endless heat and humidity of this summer.



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This little guy won a blue ribbon at the County Fair this year! He was born out of the massive snow storm we had this past February, so I was able to spend quite a lot of time on his coat.

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My baby panda also was awarded a blue ribbon at the Fair, probably due to his adorable blue eyes. I saw this pattern one day and thought it was so cute I had to try it. I was impressed with the clarity of the pattern, I was able to whip this together in just a few hours.

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This one took me quite a long time to complete, each color of the afghan is stitched separately and then joined together to make the whole. I really enjoyed making long strips comprised of relatively simple stitches and then joining them together with the really cool looking zig-zag. I entered this one in the County Fair as well, but sadly didn't win anything for it. I wasn't surprised though, the afghan category has always held tough competition.

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I decided one evening that I wanted to make a scarecrow. I couldn't find a pattern of a scarecrow where I liked the look of the end product and the pattern made sense, so I changed my mind (hence the pumpkin). 

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Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Pastor Appreciation month, and Class Reunion month, and International Strategic Planning month, and Squirrel Awareness month, and National Sarcastic Awareness month, and Popcorn Popping month... (Popcorn Popping month? Really? Okay...)
 
I made this ribbon in honor and remembrance of family and friends who have fought breast cancer.

If you have any suggestions about something you would like to see me make or any comments or questions, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!
 
Monkey Mania 01/27/2010
 
The monkey I was working on last post is finished! I made him along with his chocolate brother over the past couple days and am now crafting a giraffe, this time reading the directions correctly  (he is actually coming along quite nicely). 


Here are a few shots of the monkeys.
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The brown/chocolate monkey I made as a prize for one of the middle school girls in my Bible study. My mom and I teach the 6th grade girls Bible study on Wednesday evenings, and my mom has come up with this thing called "Memorize For a Prize". This is where we give the girls a couple of verses or a passage from the Bible and if they can come back in the following weeks and recite what we gave them, they win a prize. Hopefully the prizes will encourage them to hide God's word in their hearts (Psalm 119:11).


Now I'm off to figuring out what verses are next in the Memorize For a Prize series. . .
 
 
I am still alive! Although, sometimes I believe my brain would beg to differ (just ask my husband... haha).


I have been a bit busy with life, which, in this case, is also known as not taking the time to organize my thoughts enough to write a paragraph, let alone a blog post. That being said, today's blog will be about a bit of what I've been up to these last two and a half weeks. 


About two weeks ago, I decided to teach myself how to read crocheting instructions. I found some patterns that I really liked and, with some online help, started figuring out amigurumi animals. (Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting or knitting dolls and other toys). I started with this Snowy Owl, pictured below.
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Then, I found a pattern for a Bumble Bee. I think he turned out quite adorable!
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Next, came Mr. Giraffe. It appears as if I may have misread/mis-stitched his neck... it's just a mite too thick. But I do believe that gives him character! (The next one will, hopefully, be slightly more proportionate!)
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The amigurumi I have most recently finished is this handsome little Elephant. Who says Elephants can't be blue?
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I am currently finishing up a sweet little monkey, and then will tackle the rest of the zoo. 


I hope you enjoyed the photo blog, as the following blogs may very well be made up mostly of photos. Thanks for taking time to read my ramblings!
 
Dinner for Two? 01/06/2010
 
I made Chicken Dijon for dinner tonight, after realizing that included in the name "toaster oven" is the word oven. I can bake! So, I made this dish and it was quite good. I used the convection setting on my toaster oven, and my food was finished in half the time. 


I got this recipe from the Leaving Home Cookbook and Survival Guide by Seth Braun. There are so many good tips and recipes in here, I can't wait to try more!


If anyone decides to make this, leave a comment and let me know how it turned out! Especially if you have any alternate suggestions, or any good side dishes to serve with it.

Enjoy!


Chicken Dijon

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup dijon-style mustard
2 cups finely crumbled seasoned breadcrumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place chicken breasts in sprayed baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and generously spread mustard on both sides of chicken. Coat with breadcrumbs and return to baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until juices run clear. Serves 6 to 8.
TIP:  The mustard gives chicken a tangy flavor and makes it moist.
        Don't overcook.



 
A Scary New Step 01/02/2010
 
Today's Facebook status: Katie just did two very scary things. #1: Bought a Wii. #2: Used the credit card for the first time to buy the Wii. Yikes!

Today we took that step, a step which takes us to a place from where there is no return. We used the credit card. 
I am that type of person who likes stuff, but doesn't like to spend the money to get that stuff. So, you would think that someone like me would love the idea of credit cards, a method of acquiring stuff without reducing the bank account immediately. However, debt terrifies the stuffing out of me. I forget things, and paying off a credit card balance is something that, if forgotten, would have some serious repercussions. 


That being said, I am determined to stay on top of this.