Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tatertots and Jello: Just in Time for Christmas -- Silhouette Giveaway {worth $300}!!

Tatertots and Jello: Just in Time for Christmas -- Silhouette Giveaway {worth $300}!!

Give Away! Act Fast!

I just found out about a cool give-away while reading Tatertots and Jello.  The link is:

Jen at Tatertots is giving away a Silhouette machine which does great things.  It is like a printer but instead of just printing things up, it cuts designs out for you.  This is a great opportunity so go visit Jen at Tatertots and Jello and entr to win this great machine.

This Silhouette Giveaway

{a $299.99 value}


Silhouette machine.

*Software for Windows XP/Vista and Mac

*Power Cable

*2 Cutting Mats

*One Cutting Blade

*Plus a $10 Gift Card to Silhouette's Online Store

{And don’t forget: SILHOUETTE is now available to MAC USERS TOO!!}


Good luck.  Hurry because you only have til midnight tonight!  Mountain Standard Time


The Russians Have Come! And Gone. New Traditions.

Naomi and Abby
Naomi's Birthday Cupcakes

Since moving up to the North Country we have also started a few new traditions.  Both of our girls left great best friends in Jenkintown, PA.  Thank God for cell phone plans that give unlimited texting allowing the girls to stay connected.  But I wander.  The new tradition for Abby and us is that our Russian-born friends come to visit Thanksgiving each year, which also happens to be right around their daughter Naomi's birthday.  Naomi and Abby, both 6th graders, are soul mates.

It's wonderful that two children, Abby (Chinese-born and adopted by us ten years ago) and Naomi (American-born with parents born in St. Petersburg, Russia) would be able to meet and become good friends.  I know as a child growing up during the Cold War and Vietnam this scenario would have been unthinkable.  The Cold War brought bomb drills at elementary school where school children like me were led into the hallways and sat on the floor with our heads down to be safe when the Russians launched nuclear bombs on us. The picture below illustrates another method to be "safe".  This picture is courtesy of I Remember JFK where you can find additional details of this great time in American history.

 The Vietnam War brought daily news and pictures of war being fought by boys not much older than me.   And pictures of flag-draped caskets of those who would never see their family again.  I remember being told about the domino effect, that if we didn't fight and  the North Vietnamese won the Chinese would then stream down and take over South Vietnam then all of Southeast Asia and eventually the world.

No, I would never have believed that I would adopt a daughter born in China whose bff was the daughter of Russian immigrants.  Just goes to show you how great this world is.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day!

Tomorrow is Turkey Day, my daughter Molly's favorite holiday of the year.  Molly's great fear this fall was that we wouldn't be able to cook a Thanksgiving feast because we are having our kitchen remodeled.  Actually the kitchen, dining room, laundry room and back porch.

Our new back entrance will go into a mud room not the kitchen.  No one uses the front door.

Our future breakfast room and mudroom shot from our future laundry.

The wall between the kitchen and the dining room is almost down.

No place to put things but we still have our cooktop somewhere.

Our contractor, architect, woodworker, carpenter, artist and, most importantly, dear friend Tim was going to suggest to Molly that she cook the feast in the same manner as the pilgrims did lo those many years ago.  But in light of her stress-ridden, but successful school year, we convinced him that it would not be a great idea to stress her further (did I mention that she is also 16, not a good age under perfect conditions).  So tomorrow will be Thanksgiving as usual with stuffing, twice-baked potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple crumb pie (my mom's incredible recipe) and,of course, the turkey I ordered and picked up at the St. Johnsbury Co-op (I love that almost every quasi-large town has a good coop, it is New England after all!) and homemade gravy.

We wanted Tim to redo our house because he knows us and how our family operates.  So he designed the space to fit into my concept of cooking with different work spaces for different tasks so we don't get in each others way.  Tim knew our propensity to clutter all horizontal surfaces and is giving us many cubbies and cabinets to put things away.  He even added a roofed portico for the back door so our dog Honey has a covered place to sit outside.  And, as you can see in this picture, he is building a castle by himself on the side of a mountain.  He is one talented person!

Have a happy Thanksgiving all!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because the Holidays are Near, Coming Soon, Good Sites for You

Yes, there hasn't been anything new posted for you.  That will change this weekend.  Soon you will be able to learn about interesting sites to learn about crafting, free new knitting and crocheting patterns and, because everyone loves to enter for the chance for free giveaways!

So stay tuned, tell your neighbors and friends, this is the place to find out where you can find brilliant handmade gifts and good deals and new patterns and more.  And maybe some nonsense for the fun of it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Win a Vogue Knitting Book!

I received an email today about winning the Vogue Knitting  Mittens and Gloves Giveaway.  I haven't been able to copy the picture of the book and put it here but you can see the  copy below.  Also, the info came from the website "All Free Patterns" which does have nice patterns.  I'll continue to keep everyone informed of any interesting patterns or blogs or websites for knitting, crocheting, spinning or any other crafts that I run across. 

The link to enter to win the book is: 

Here is the copy:

Vogue Knitting Mittens and Gloves
By the Editors of Vogue Knitting
Publisher: sixth&spring books
ISBN: 1936096056

Who doesn't love knitting mittens and gloves? With Vogue Knitting Mittens & Gloves from Vogue Knitting magazine, you'll receive a collection of more than 40 innovative designs, from convertible mittens to patterns for coordinating hats and scarves. Create trendy wristlets, funky fingerless mitts or classic lace panel gloves - the choice is up to you.

Good luck.  Now I'm off to try to type another 3000 or so words today for my novel.  I'm behind.  I only have 7,116 words.  I'll check back later and let you all know if I made my goal today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spinning Wheel Updates

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I haven't forgotten spinning, even though I am writing my first novel (see prior post).  I will be posting my misadventures in that arena as I bumble through my learning curve.  As anyone can see above, I have a long way to go since even I know that hand spun yarn does not look like these jumbled messes.  And suddenly my drop spindle seems easy by comparison.

Write a Novel in a Month

Around 10:30 pm on Sunday my daughter Molly ran into my mom cave all excited about "nanowrimo" and writing a novel in a month.  I actually thought she was talking about a rhino and writing but finally got Molly to slow down and give me the low down.  The deal is that November is evidently National Novel Writing Month aka "NaNoWriMo" .  Consequently, NaNoWriMo is an annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world.  If you are an adult or, if you are older than 13 and opt to be treated like an adult, you make a commitment to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month.  That's 1666 words per day.

I started yesterday but after being called away for mother duty yesterday and then all day today, I have written only 427 words thus far.  Because I didn't make my required daily word count yesterday I received an email chastising me.  And I didn't write anything today, so I am further behind.  I WILL WRITE TOMORROW AS SOON AS I GET ABBY OFF TO SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Molly is way ahead of me at 2300 and her bff Shannon (who calls me Mama-Gail) has written 3400.  But I will persevere and finish.  I did think about what I will write so I think that counts.

NaNoWriMo reports:  191,707, collective word count for 2010.