52 Project: 14/52

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NYC was teetering on the brink of spring, but this weekend it has tipped and become official.  People are dressing lighter and are out more. I spy more morning joggers running outside on my way in to work each day.

The daffodils and crocus were blooming in my neighborhood. The buds on the trees will be bursting any second now.  I took a little stroll in Central Park and the weather was really beautiful. Still a little overcast and broody, but the weather is certainly warmer and the spring flowers are popping up everywhere.

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Planning and Plotting

20140104-113811.jpg     This weekend I (Miss Procrastination) am working hard on a new collection of patterns. I had planned on releasing them at the end of this month, but after sitting down this morning and planning out the remaining work I have to do, I’m not as brash and certain as I originally thought. I suppose if you are saddled with the procrastination gene, its a bonus if you also have the brash self-confidence gene to back it up.  Its my “I can do it!” side that makes me think that, yes, just maybe, I can! So far this morning, to procrastinate, I have taken down my Christmas tree, packed away the decorations and tidied and vacuumed the dining room and living room… oh, and written this blog post.  Like a champ!

I have already written several of the patterns, and I just need to re-knit, chat with my test knitters and make sure the finished projects are ready for photos. But a couple of the patterns are still just sketches, notes and swatches.  Its officially Crunch Time!  So after I make some eggs and coffee for my at-home brunch I will have my nose to the grindstone and knitting like a madwoman to keep my deadline.  Do you think I can do it? Wish me luck! -Marie

PS – In case you were wondering…  the wool in the picture is Cascade 220 (aqua) and The Periwinkle Sheep (pinky-purple) Merino DK and yes, its going to knit into something wonderful! 🙂

Pick A Pop

The game making and decorating is now in full swing as the Halloween party draws nearer.

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This game is such a great combination:  children love candy, and children love games.This is easy and fairly cheap to make.

You will need;

A large sturdy plant pot.

A ruler.

A pencil.

A drill.

A  drill bit to match the diameter of the lolli stick

Spray paint.

Marker or stamp pad.

Lollipops, I used Dum-dums.

Acrylic frame

These are the measurements of my pot;

Top circumfrence 29 inches.

Bottom circumfrence 41 inches

Height 12 inches

You will need to adjust your measurements a little depending on your own pot.

Using the drainage holes on the bottom as a guide, line up the ruler. Put your first mark 1 1/4 inches from the bottom. Moving upwards keep marking  in increments of 1 1/4 inches.

From the original mark at the bottom work around the circumfrence marking every 4 inches. Once you have marked all the way round use these as a guide and begin marking vertically. Every 1 1/4 inches.

Using a mark along the bottom measure 2 inches and mark. Using this as a guide mark 1 inch from the bottom. Working veritcally meaure and mark in increments of 1 1/4 inches again. You are adding another coloumn of marks inbetween the first round. Repeat working around the pot.  Your holes will be staggered from the first go-round.

Mark the spot.

Mark the spot.

Mark the bottom of the pot too. I did this ramdomly, and eyeballed the spacing to be similar to that on the sides.

The difficult part is over.

Using a drill bit that is slightly bigger in diameter than the lolli sticks, drill all the holes. Be careful not to force the drill or apply too much pressure as you run the risk og cracking the pot, and I’m sure you don’t want to mark a new one all over again. If you do split the pot all is not lost. After drilling and spray painting you can cover the hole with electrical tape. One piece on either side and poke a hole with a skewer.

Spray paint the pot the colour of your choice. I chose black beacuse this one is for Halloween and the Dum Dums really pop on this background.

This holds around 200 lollipops. I Selected about a fifth of that number to dip in ink to mark the bottoms.

Next fill up with lollipops, I had a very willing helper and it only cost me a couple of Dum Dums.

I covered a folding tray in a plastic Halloween tablecloth to sit the game on and printed up a sign with instructions how to play. I slid it into an acrylic frame and taped it to the table.

Its so much fun that I’m not sure that anyone will even care about not having a dip in the prize bag. Happy Halloween. -F

Postcards from Rhinebeck

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Maple cotton candy and fat squishy skeins of wool… It really doens’t get a lot better than this!

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Llamas and Alpacas. I firmly believe that they are the silliest of farm animals.

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Oh October. You are so beautiful.

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I mean really… show off.

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The incredibly gorgeous wool for our Leaf Kerchief giveaway.

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Florrie reads the map, we must find Melissa and her gorgeous buttons!

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Saturday evening walk in the woods. Dusky autumn beauty.

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Our totes were over-flowing with wooly goodenss!

We had a great time at Rhinebeck this year.  The weather was cool and the days were sunny. It did rain, but luckily it was just overnight on Saturday. But MAN, did I sleep well. We bought way too much wool and saw so many great vendors and so many silly llamas and alpacas and sheep. We were tempted by Melissa Jean’s button stash. We stood in line for the wonderful Miss Babs yarn and found the most gorgeous colorway for our Leaf Kerchief Giveaway. Make sure you comment on the post before Friday for a chance to win. You’ll get a FloMa canvas tote, knitting notions, the kerchief pattern and enough of Miss Babs beautiful yarn to make your own.

We’re dreaming big for next year! Can’t wait!

Pick Your Own

 DSCF1957Up near the Croakery there’s a sprawling field that is filled with flowers from April through October.  You can pull in and park, and wander through the rows with a borrowed pair of scissors and a cheerful yellow bucket.  Sniff, snip, wander.  The names feel like memories to me. I can remember them coming from the mouths of my father and aunt and grandmother. Amaranth, Cosmos, Clover, Foxglove, Zinnia, Heliotrope.  Queen Anne’s Lace, Statice, Cockscomb, Asters, Sedum. Even the stray grass gone to seed and the goldenrod was lovely.  Its oddly comforting to know that in this day and age there are places like this. Unattended, completely on the honor system.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but honor is something that is increasingly hard to come by these days.   Much like sunny warm afternoons this close to October.  And that Saturday was a doozy.  Golden light that still had a summer-like warmth to it, combined with a cool breeze and turning leaves that distinctly said late September.

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Our little yellow bucket yielded several pretty arrangements which we put in our favorite Weck bottles.

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Hope you’re enjoying the little, honest things, too.

-Marie

Blueberry Galette

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I found another reason to turn on my oven the other day.  I love a quick and easy dessert recipe, and this is one that I turn to regularly, especially in the fall and winter. Its easy to assemble before you begin dinner, then you pop it into the fridge to chill while you cook. Just before you sit down to eat you put it in a hot oven and it bakes while you enjoy your supper, it cools as you relax and digest and just when you’re ready to eat a little something sweet for dessert, its ready too.  This also is a great recipe for figs, apples, cherries… you get the idea. I use a boxed pie crust that comes with two crusts individually wrapped. Pie crust is my kryptonite (’cause I have hot hands). This recipe uses one, so I have a second crust waiting for me for another time.  But by all means, if you aren’t as lazy and inept as me, of course you can make your favorite pie crust from scratch.

Blueberry Galette

1 boxed pie crust, chilled

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a cookie or baking sheet lay pie crust flat. Sprinkle graham crackers, brown sugar, lemon zest and blueberries in the middle. Cut up cold butter into little pieces and sprinkle evenly over fruit.

Fold edges of pie crust over and pinch together to create a pie. Sometimes I’ll do an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, but its not necessary. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden and fruit is bubbly.  For easy cleanup bake on a piece of foil or parchment paper.  Cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Its extra yummy with vanilla ice cream on the side.

-Marie

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