Monday, October 27, 2008

Some October Photos

It seems I am getting sort of random lately. I have three unrelated photos here. I suppose that is life, right?

Ooh I love this one, with little feet poking out! I finished Dana's legwarmers last night and I think they are super cute! The yarn is so soft! Hoping these make winter more bearable for my little dress lover.

We went to the Lester Park School carnival last weekend. The girls had so much fun having their faces painted, their favorite carnival activity. Nora requested a witch face and Dana got a butterfly painted on her.

I just love this photo! I have a photo of me, Alyx and Sam on our dad's back when we were little and this reminds me of it. We loved horsie back rides and clearly Nora and Dana do, too. It would have been cute to add that vintage photo of my childhood here but I can't locate it at this moment. Bummer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Two weekends ago we piled into the car and drove to a farm in Rice Lake, Wisconsin that has a pumpkin patch and lots of Halloween fun.

This was a really fun tunnel system made out of hay bales. The girls LOVED it and had so much fun! It was all built around an old boat, which the kids could crawl through the tunnels to climb into. Very fun.

They had two petting zoos. This one had bunnies, kittens, guinea pigs, etc.

The corn maze! They actually have two corn mazes and we chose the smaller one. It was fun for a while but eventually it got confusing and frustrating, as the trails were not very clear and we weren't sure if we were walking through walls or not. Dana kept saying, "We have to get out of this hot, hot desert!" It was probably 80 degrees and sunny and very dry. We eventually exited the same way we entered. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone!

They had thousands of pumpkins in all different sizes. The girls both chose mini pumpkins.

They have this cool tower that is full of pumpkins and I tried to photograph it but none turned out. So I am posting this one of the base of the tower and the funny pumpkin man. Dana was terrified of the pumpkin man, even sitting on Daddy's lap. Nora found that to be comical.

The car is probably not the best location to eat a giant, ooey, gooey caramel apple, but we threw caution to the wind and went for it.

All in all, a fun day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Apples Everywhere

Sunday was Grandpa Jerry's birthday, so we headed out to spend the day in Esko. Jerry and I peeled about 14,000 apples. We used them to make apple pie filling and applesauce, which we canned. I had never canned anything before and I have to say, it was pretty fun.

Here we are in our apple assembly line. Jerry peeled the apples with this cool apple peeling machine, and I cored and sliced them. I love how you can see the fall colors through the patio door.

Here is the completed pie filling. It smelled heavenly as we canned it. I can hardly wait to try it!

Applesauce as far as the eye can see. Actually, we only made two batches, which is 18 jars. Then again, 18 jars is a lot of applesauce. It tastes amazing-so fresh!

Nora is VIP at school this week, and she needed a family photo for her VIP poster. We took about ten photos and this is the best of the batch.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Freezer Paper Stenciling

It turns out I really enjoy freezer paper stenciling. This week, the girls each picked out a design, which I prepped, and they painted their own shirts. I added that same polka dot ribbon trim, and here are the results.

This photo of Nora tells us two things: First, the paint is very shiny (hence the glare!) and second, Nora was not in the mood to have her photo taken. This was photo number six and the only one in which she was not sporting a giant scowl. Instead, she has giant bug eyes, which I think are sort of cute. She wanted a butterfly and hearts, which I created using Adobe InDesign. Not exactly the purpose of this fantastic publishing program, but it worked slick.

Dana was happy to pose for a photo. Her shirt has a unicorn on it, though it is hard to tell. It looks like a horse from here. Again with the ribbon trim. Dana's shirt almost ended up in the trash. She was a bit over zealous with the paint and got a giant glob, at least 2 1/2 inches long, onto the shirt, and not on the part that needed paint. It was sort of by the armpit. So I had her finish painting in the stencil and then I took the shirt and, careful as I could, rinsed off the paint blob under hot water. So that caused the entire back of the shirt to get soaking wet. And there was still plenty of stray paint, which at this point looked awful. So I snuggled a cutting board inside the shirt to keep the front dry so the paint could dry, and I got out my Melaleuca Pre-Spot and a nail brush. I squirted, let it sit, scrubbed the everliving daylights out of it, repeated, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, I hung it to dry and that evening, after ironing the stencil to heat set it, I threw it in the wash and at the end of the cycle, every speck of spilled paint was gone. I got fabric paint out of fabric! I feel like a superhero. Dana was so happy, and she loves her unicorn shirt.

Since I finished Kevin's hat, I have been working on legwarmers for Dana. She loves to wear dresses and even with thick cotton tights, her legs still get cold from the Minnesota winters. I thought legwarmers were the perfect solution: she can wear them to and from the car and can remove them when we are inside. Perfect! Her favorite color is purple and she feels that this periwinkle is purple, so that is a bonus. I have this ridiculous notion that I may have enough yarn to make two pairs. They are so easy and so fast! And the yarn is lovely. It is called Sublime, and that is such a fitting name. So soft, so pretty, so very easy to work with. Yay leg warmers!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kevin's Hat: Halfdome in the Round

I finished Kevin's hat last night. Yay! I had four rounds left so I brought it to Sunday dinner at my mom and dad's house and finished it there. I have to say I am pleased with it. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and oh my is it wonderful! You have never felt yarn so soft. It isn't even a bit itchy-it is perfect. I have another project planned with it in white, but that is a surprise...

Kevin modeling his new hat.

A view from the top. I learned something new with this hat: I knit really tight. OK, I technically already knew that. What I didn't know is that it affects how high my rows are. See, I ran out of yarn five inches into this and the nice lady at Fabric Works told me it is because I knit so tight. Lesson learned. For any of you knitters out there who want to try this out, I found the pattern here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Abby and Shirt

I got crafty for Josie's second birthday. She is obsessed with Sesame Street, so I told Charity to pick up a cake pan and I would bake her birthday cake. She got this Abby Cadabby pan and Abby cupcake liners and I baked them up!

I have to say I am not that great at baking character cakes. Well, the baking is OK, but the decorating. It is really hard to recreate something specific in buttercream. Abby looks like she had an industrial accident; her mouth is kind of weird and she looks like she has caterpillars crawling on her eyes. It is lucky two year olds are so forgiving!

I kept it simple with the cupcakes, making swirl tops in three coordinating colors. Vivid!

The women I knit with are really creative and inspiring. One night, they were all talking about the freezer paper stencils they had made and the cute shirts that resulted. I finally tried it, making this shirt for Josie. It was really fun to make! I was going for a dachshund, since Josie's dog Oliver is a dachsie, but I couldn't find the exact-o knife so I had to use scissors, which meant no details. So the doggie looks sort of like a seal, since I couldn't make an ear. I love the metallic paint though. Very cute. To spice things up, I sewed 3/8" ribbon along the bottom hem. It has polka dots in pink, turquoise, and other coordinating colors. Hopefully the whole works will hold up in the laundry. I can hardly wait to make these with Nora and Dana-they are so easy that the girls can paint their own, no problem.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Josephine's Mikveh

Today Dana and I attended Josie's mikveh. Since her mother is not Jewish, Josie had to be converted. Her dad, who IS Jewish, took her into the lake and completely submerged her three times. Last night was our first frost, and it is October, so we all expected screaming. Josie was quite surprised, but she did not cry. We were all very proud of her.

Sam immersing Josie. You can't tell from this distance, but the look on Josie's face is priceless: great big surprised eyes.

Dana thought going swimming was a great idea and wanted to go into the cold, cold water, too. She settled for throwing two rocks in and hanging out by this fence.

Rabbi Amy talks to Josie as Charity gets her dressed again!

The whole ceremony was pretty fast and very exciting. We were happy we were able to be there today.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nora and Some Cookies

These two photos are totally unrelated.

On Saturday, we went to our friend Ayla's birthday party. She was the lucky recipient of a funky hair highlighting kit. Tara, Ayla's mom, served as a hair stylist and punked out many of the young guests with this temporary wash out dye. Nora has been begging to dye her hair pink and was over the moon! She was hoping to show it off at school on Monday but her mean, mean Mama made her wash her hair Sunday night and most of it came out. This is a snapshot into our future, no? I couldn't get the red eye fixing tool to work-it kept putting black in the whites of her eyes, making her look like she had an accident with liquid eyeliner.

And of course I am baking again. I just so love to bake and the weather is finally cool enough to use the oven. Today I baked chocolate cookies with mint chips. Before I had finished baking the whole batch, I had eaten three. Oops! I am super excited to knit tonight with some friends, and am planning to bring a bunch of these with. Super excited to knit-I am such a party animal!

The cookie recipe came, of course, from my favorite website, Here it is. I just subbed Andes mint chips for the chocolate chips the recipe called for. I think they came out super yummy. I mean, if I do say so myself.