Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

OK, it's not MY birthday, but here's what we were doing 5 years ago today. A bit blurry (a photo of a photo!), but none-the-less, here we are with our tiny baby Teddy.And here he is with his 5th birthday cake. Dinosaurs was his theme this year - we thought it was going to be Cars the movie for the third year in a row, but in a last minute change of mind, he wanted dinosaurs :0) Let me tell you, that was one monster of a cake!
We celebrated on Sunday afternoon with a family party at our clubhouse. Free, and I didn't have to tidy my own house to within an inch of my life - what more could mommy ask for?
We played some party games and I was surprised that the Americans didn't know one of my favourite childhood party games, called "Pass the Parcel". So here I will share with you all this fabulous British (apparently) party game.
Pass the Parcel
Get a small prize - if you find a pack of dinosaurs on clearance for 50cents at Party City, that's ideal.
Wrap it in a sheet of paper.
Wrap it in another sheet of paper.
Wrap it in more sheets of paper - the number of sheets until you think your kids will be bored with unwrapping. I guessed at one sheet for each year of party kid's age, so in this case 5 sheets.
Kids sit on the floor in a circle.
Give the parcel to the birthday boy (or girl, or any of the kids in fact).
Play music, while the kids pass the parcel around the circle.
Stop the music.
The kid holding the parcel removes one (and only one!) sheet of wrapping.
Start the music again.
Repeat until last sheet of wrapping is removed and that child wins the prize.
Kids absolutely LOVE this game :0) To make it a bit fairer, and so that everyone gets a small something, I wrap a tiny treat in between the sheets. A lollipop, or other small candy.

On Sunday, we played four games. I had two boy prizes and two girl prizes wrapped up. It's easier for the person controlling the music, if all girls sit one side of the circle and all boys sit the other side. Don't want a boy with a pink prize, do we. One of the girls on Sunday squealed, "Yay, girly prizes" when the first one was opened? :0)
Have fun......

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kureyon Update

Here's an updated picture of the Noro Kureyon blanket. 12 squares completed. I lost track of which is which!!! Wouldn't you know. I have a "no spending" order from the lovely DH right now, so the blanket's gonna languish for a little while. I've also exhausted swapping possibilities on Ravelry, so no cheap Kureyon for me for a while. It'll give me a chance to sew in some ends - yuk!
Small gripe about Ravelry. It always cuts off important bits of my pictures. Like 3 of my 12 squares above. But blogger doesn't do it, so why should ravelry? Bah!
No spending doesn't mean no new yarn though. Guess what?! I won the Blue Moon Fiber Arts blog contest. Well, I was one of ten winners anyway. 6 of my 10 guesses were correct. So I have a Rare Gem to expect from them . Eek, I'm so excited, I never win anything!
Actually, that's not exactly true. I won two tea-light candles at a "PartyLite" gig last night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Glamorous Evening Purse

Here is the little black purse I worked on before the New York trip. It was completed just in time for the wedding.Not bad for 2 bucks. It was absolutely perfect for toting my lipstick and camera around in - not that I took too many pictures. Was having too much fun, drinking and talking.
The bag went with all my other accessories - black, with a little sparkle.

I wondered about the handle. Should I make it i-cord, should I sew something inside it to make it round. As it was, the stockinette stitch curled up so nicely, it didn't need a thing.

Then I added the rose, just to make it a little fancier. I made more roses, but they would have just been, erm, too much.

So here is the pattern, should anyone want to replicate.
Yarn: I used Lion Brand Glitterspun, on sale at Joann's for $1.97 a ball :0) The gauge was 18st x 26 rows with a 5mm needle over 4" square.
Front, bottom and back:
Cast on 25 sts
Work 5 rows of 1x1 rib, working the 2 sts at either end as k2 (or p2) to make stockinette for seaming later.
Work 21 rows of stockinette stitch. Start and end with a knit row.
Next row, knit so that a row of purl bumps appear on the right side.
Work 7 rows of stockinette stitch. Start and end with a knit row.
Next row, knit so that a row of purl bumps appear on the right side.
The 2 purl bump rows defin the bottom of the bag.
Work 21 rows of stockinette stitch. Start and end with a knit row.
Work 5 rows of 1x1 rib, as above.
Bind off in 1x1 rib.
Sides and Handle:
Cast on 9 sts.
Work 110 rows in stockinette stitch. Work more rows if you want a longer handle.
Bind off.
Mattress stitch the sides of the bag to either end of the handle strip.
Add any embellishments you like.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Big (Apple) Vacation

It's taken a week to recover and get back in the groove, after our big family vacation. "High"-lights included......

The view from our hotel rooftop

Starting our 4th of July at the top of the city (you can just see the top of my favourite building by Teddy's arm.
Taking in the Natural History Museum. Both boys enjoyed the dinosaur bones, but Ted's favourite bit was the model Native American houses. We trekked to the top floor for them to see "Dum-Dum". Teddy asked why he wasn't blowing bubbles!
We finished the day right on the riverside for the amazing fireworks. Huge thanks to one of New York's finest for taking pity on us and taking us to their VIP area, where we got the most incredible, unobstructed view, that money could not buy :0)

We left the city for a couple of days to visit lovely friends in Philadelphia. After all the sight-seeing and walking around NYC, we were all happy to just sit at home and just catch-up. The kids all got on like a house on fire and poor Teddy cried when we had to leave them.

We were then back to NY for a wedding. A most excellent time was had at the rehearsal dinner, which was actually a hoedown, in honour of the groom's Kentucky roots (or something like that!).
Do the boys look suitably farmer-esque?There was a square dance caller and we all had a blast dancing the night away.
Our boys are so similar and in some ways so different. Our prediction is that Teddy will be president of his college class. And Matt? Well he'll be president of his fraternity!!! Here he is partying the night away with one of his cousins. He just LOVES to dance.

One day, I'll have the camera handy when he comes out of his room with his underpants on his head. Honestly, it must be in the male genes or something!!

Talking of dinosaur bones. Teddy watched his first scary movie. Jurasic Park 3. What else is a boy supposed to do sitting on the tarmac at JFK for 3 hours???!!!

So, a grand time was had by all.

Tomorrow, the highlight of the wedding - my rose purse. Ok, not exactly the highlight, but I've got to get some knitting content on this old blog at some point ;0)