Give My Regards

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Hellooooo and happy weekend!

I am back, and it was wonderful.

Please forgive another non-crochet-related post, but wait until I explain…

We went to New York! My daughter’s school music program took a trip out to perform and see the sights, and I was able to go along.

Now, for those of you that live there, not such amazing news. And those who are able to travel and vacation regularly, again, not so exciting. But for those of you like me, with a big family and a small budget, that haven’t traveled further than the nearest big town for well, years…it was fabulous.

I’ve dreamed of traveling to see a show on Broadway my whole life.

And as long as we were there, well, we saw a lot more than that!

Forgive my vacation pictures:

Tying my shoelace on the Staten Island Ferry…

Wall Street, and the 9/11 Memorial…yes, I looked like a complete tourist, gawking at all the skyscrapers.

A concert at St. John’s, then a walk through Columbia University

Our new favorite place…a real New York corner market.

Times Square, not my thing, but great to see once in a lifetime. Loved every minute of our dinner at the Stardust Diner.

A concert aboard the Intrepid, a quick tour of Lincoln Center, and Julliard.

Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza and a fantastic historical tour at Radio City, and we were done.

And there you have it. My dream trip in a nutshell. Now if I can get caught up on the laundry, we will be back to our regularly scheduled crochet adventures next week.

Have a lovely day! And enjoy your time, however you chose to spend it.

 

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Better Than The Better Than ____ Cake!

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The month is flying by. My crochet hooks no longer recognize me, as my mind is too full and my hands too busy to give them the time they deserve.

Orders are pending and will wait a little longer, as we have some amazing adventures coming up!

We are nearing the end of my first year teaching. It is an adventure-a-minute! Graduation planning has begun.

High school graduation also looms, as well as spring trips and other end of the year class fun.

There are many firsts in my life right now…and it is all going much too quickly!

I don’t know where the time goes.

Tonight we combined several celebrations into one: we had a welcome home dinner with our returning snowbird grandparents, ate corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, opened Easter baskets a week early due to travel plans, and celebrated two birthdays. Phew!

My precious eldest daughter turns eighteen tomorrow. To say I am unprepared for this is a massive bit of understatement. I keep asking myself, how can this be? Just a moment ago she was my sweet, terrifyingly new baby, then my darling child, then the savvy, socially conscious teen….

Her cake was a bit of an adventure. I have been busy with lessons and had little time to plan anything particularly special.

So we improvised, and it was delicious! The grandparents raved about it, and the birthday girl declared it even yummier than our favorite, the Better Than Sex cake. πŸ™‚

High praise indeed.

Here’s what we did:

Using my Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl, I used a Jello cheesecake box mix and made the crust in the bottom.

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We then made a ring of her favorite candy bar, Twix, around the outside edge.

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Dad’s contribution was the accurate and somewhat humorous placement. It was a bit of a production. πŸ™‚

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While he placed the bars, my junior helper began the filling mix.

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Then we put everything in the fridge to chill overnight.
In the morning, my sweet helper layered Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding filling, caramel and chocolate sauce with Milk Duds and returned it to the fridge to chill further.
She also took a few pictures of the finished product for me while I prepared for the party.

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It was delicious.

We served it with a spoon and asked our guests how many Twix they would like with their serving. πŸ™‚ I did deny the request for 14 of them…very funny, child.

I will be making this one again! Any candy bars or topping you like would be delicious. Cake cut into chunks or fruit would make yummy additional layers.

So, until next time!

May you have a blessed holy week. ❀

Break-A-Leg

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Another lovely weekend…and nary of stitch of crochet.

I mustn’t complain! Really. Those bitter winter nights will be along soon enough.

With errands and children and a calendar-full of events, I haven’t managed to photograph my latest work. I have a certain afternoon light in mind, and haven’t been able to catch it.

Daylight savings time doesn’t help…

I featured this shawl previously here (https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/the-perfect-all-hallows-eve/)

and have made four companion works in various shades and patterns.

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I look forward to sharing those with you when the light is right!

In the meantime I have tackled a few home projects, such as cleaning the porch and sorting boxes in the basement.

My cookie cutters had been AWOL…I found them with a vengeance as I had added a few dozen more to my collection over the summer. πŸ˜€

All gathered and washed…now to find a box that large.

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This weekend was mostly taken up with the school play…over 100 children were in it, a novelty for this-size town!

Here are my three: Snow White, Miss Muffet and one of the Blind Mice. πŸ™‚

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It was quite a bit of fun to have them all participate and they did so well.

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Wore the mouse out…

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Sweet.

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And sassy…

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I think we all need a nap.

Time to get ready for my week.

I look forward to chatting again soon!

Grrrr, The Irrestistable Tiger Hat

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Hello and Happy Friday!

We interrupt this week’s anticipated post (Circling Lovelies, part 2–Β  which shall appear in some other future πŸ™‚Β  ) to play with tiger awesome-ness!

Summer was drawing to a close, and my darling nephew’s birthday was soon upon us. As he is quite the handsome young man, a hat was just the thing!

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A tiger is sort of his special animal, bestowed upon him by his other grandma…so I was inspired to give it a go.

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I used Sarah’s basic hat pattern (www.repeatcrafterme.com) and alternated two rows of orange with a row of black.

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Nose (and pink in ears) is 10dc in a ring.

Cheeks are 10hdc, then a round of 20 hdc.

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Outer ear is 7 hdc, 3 dc and 7hdc to make it a bit pointy.

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Little Miss Cousin here is pretty sure he will like it! πŸ™‚

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A sneak peek at another work-in-progress started during tiger production. (C2C graphgan featuring Toothless) Heaven only knows when that will get a little more attention…

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And the darling boy sporting his new birthday hat!

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Oh, smooches to his cuteness and love from auntie!

See you next week with more on the lovely Circle of Friends pattern. ❀

Giant Granny Goodness, Part II

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Hello, hello and happy…well, you know. πŸ™‚

My giant grannies are coming along nicely! In fact, I am on a bit of a crochet jag and have started a dozen projects– or more– in recent weeks. Oh, my, I am having fun! And I haven’t skimped on the housework; in fact, I am also on an organizing crusade and attacking areas that have been neglected for, well, maybe years?

I am simply on a color spree: combining, mixing, matching, layouts, rainbows, ombre, triads, contrasts…it is a good thing I have a bit of a container fetish, because my cleaning frenzy means more empty bins to collect my color nonsense and project dreams.

Here’s the one for the grannies, rounds 7-12 or so:

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I tend to be a bit matchy-matchy…so the challenge of putting dissimilar colors adjacent entertains me particularly.

The lovely afternoon sun…my favorite time to crochet.

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A trio of riotous color contrast:

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And the real challenge begins! A preliminary layout:

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The burning question…how many more rounds???

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I like it as is, but it isn’t very afghan-size, yet…only about 3×3.

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Twenty rounds– my original plan– will be too much?

Perhaps fifteen. And then a kitschy border, for certain!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KitschΒ Β Β  πŸ˜‰

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The more garish color to chew, the better! So rainbow-y and satisfying.

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And just for fun– my little crochet-hinderer, below. I was able to complete my latest set of rounds because she went off to the neighbor’s and asked to bake something. πŸ™‚ My sweet neighbor was happy to comply and home she came, several hours later, with yummy chocolate treats to boot. Happy summer!

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An update on another project, too…the edge is finished, and the little gift set sewn!

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For blanket information, see here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/baby-victorian-dreams/

And for the dress pattern:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

Happy day!

Four to Get Ready

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I read an article not long ago about four being the perfect number of children to have. I agree! A matched set, or two of each. The article reasoned that once a mother had four children, there were certain things she just had to let go. Therefore, in the face of non-possible perfection, the mother of four was more relaxed. True enough!

I could add a few things to that.

Four means there is always someone to play with.

Four means the parental spotlight spreads wide and becomes, by definition, muted. There is less pressure, on all six of us, to perform. As parents, as children, as people. I used to be uptight. Slightly perfectionist. Yeah, four kids took care of that.

Four means we get charged extra. For everything. Campsites, cars (must have six seats!), restaurants…it all costs more.

But I don’t mind. Really. For every night we don’t go out, there are laughs–and drama– to be had at home. And extra kisses, and homede birthday cards, and more I love you’s. There are plenty of people to help with chores. And to make the mess, of course. We never lack for something to do. Life isn’t boring…and it has so much value.

That’s why we had four, really. I thought about a dozen, then a half, but I just hated puking for nine months straight. And my husband was starting to get that deer-in-the-headlights look.

But we had four because we value life. More than money, more than career, more than anything. Because one says, I like my life the way it is. And two says, I like to be “normal.” Three says maybe that last one was a surprise, or a moment of weakness. πŸ™‚ Four though, four says I value family. I value you. At least, that’s what it says for me. It says I have hope.

Maybe when they bring me four husbands, and a dozen grandchildren, I’ll wish I stuck to one, or maybe two. I do worry about fitting them all around the dining room table, someday.

I never could have imagined this, my glorious precious home life, when I was one of the previous dozen girls I have been, just as surely the mother I am today cannot even dream of the days to come. They are beyond MY imagination.

I will enjoy the here and now.

It passes all too quickly.
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Art by Amy