Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lip Balm and someone is in trouble.......

My lovely friend Deborah at Araignee's Tangled Web makes the most wonderful soap and lotion bars.  I have a few here at my house and they are gorgeous.  Well a while back she wrote on her blog that she also makes lip balm.  Really?  I mean I LOVE lip balm.  I am actually a lip balm freak.  See these are the things you don't know about me.  She most graciously had a tutorial on her blog about how to make this wonderful lip balm, you can find the link here.  As soon as I saw her post I went to the online store that Deb orders her supplies from which you can find at Wholesale Supplies Plus.  I ordered Shea Butter, Candelilla Wax, Beeswax, mica for color and 12 little containers for the balm.  My supplies arrived really fast, actually getting to my house on Tuesday.  I was way too busy with paperwork on Tuesday, and working on Wednesday to make my balm, but I had time today.

I printed out the directions from Deb's post and got busy.  Can I tell you that this was just the easiest thing imaginable?  Now that is not to say I did things perfectly, I did not but it was still so much fun.  I used Shea Butter instead of the Almond Butter suggested by Debbie.  I was afraid the almond butter would have a flavor, silly I know.  I heated up my ingredients, melting it slowly in a jar that was in a pan of heated water.  I added a few drops of vanilla and a tiny bit of pink mica.  I poured it into my six little containers and watched it harden.  I tell you I was so excited.

It looks so pink here in its liquid stage but it really wasn't pink at all.  I pored a bit out of each container to fill up number six and make them all even.  Well that just left a rim of balm around the edges that I did not like at all.  

Above you can see the rim forming as the balm solidifies.   Besides my lip balm and toilet paper obsession I have to admit I am a bit obsessive to get things right.  I HATE to be wrong, just ask my sister.  And when I feel like I can do better I obsess until I do it again.  I went to pick up Little Buddy at school, more of that story in a bit, came home took the balm out of the containers and remelted it.  This time I added about 10 drops of  100%  pure peppermint essential oil, a few drops of pure vanilla, and about 1/2 teaspoon of agave to give it a sweeter flavor.  I put in more mica, this time red the other color I ordered, and heated it all back up again.

Look it is done!  I am loving the way it looks and the red gives your lips just the faintest, faintest hint of color.  I should have added more color but live and learn.  I am not going to make another batch until this is gone, I am making myself behave.  Yet all I want to do it make lip balm now.  Maybe if I give it all away I can make more tomorrow!  I need to order more containers, how about little metal tins next time, and some flavored oils.  I see a watermelon mint lip balm in my future.  Please visit Araignee's Tangled Web to see the tutorial on making lip balm, and to see her weaving, knitting, soap making, cross stitch, spinning, I know it sort of makes me crazy how good she is at everything.

As for Little Buddy, well he is in the dog house.  Never a good thing when you arrive at school and the teacher takes you aside and says she had trouble today.  Apparently my darling was ramming the boy ahead of him in line with his walker.  And after being told to stop, he did not.  He had to sit by himself at lunch as he was doing this on the way to the cafeteria and again on the way back to the class.  He missed 5 minutes of playground time, too.  When I asked him what happened he covered his mouth and told me he was not talking, and then growled at me because he was mad!  So he is napping and I think I have sprouted a few more gray hairs.  This boy makes me laugh and infuriates me all at the sametime.  Typical little boy.  And as the saying goes, Thank God He Is Cute!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bits and Bobs Baby Blanket...............

Sorry I have not been visiting lately I have a severe case of granny square-itis.  I cannot stop making these squares.  Actually 25 were made in just 3 days.  I am in love with this blanket so far.  It reminds me of a quilt made with extra bits of fabric.  I am obsessed.  I talk to Little Buddy while making a square.  I watch TV or read the paper while making a square.  I even made a square while Little B was in the tub last night.

My original thought was to have a gray background.  When I looked at the Berroco Modern Cotton, bought for this purpose, it just was not right.  The yarn is twisted a different way.  My old, old Berroco Pure Pima has a distinct shape, it is crisp, not puffy.  I have almost run out of my old Berroco stash and the blanket is far from being done.  Of course I have had these bits of yarn forever so there is no way to track down more of this discontinued yarn.  I did my internet search this morning.  I used these bits and bobs to make this flower shawl, way back in 2011.

After some research I think my best bet as a substitute is Plymouth Yarn, Cleo.  It  is a nice yarn that will make a great background.  I ordered the color that looks like sand.  With the warmer tones of the orange and yellow I have to go in this direction, gray just won't cut it.  I am completely impatient for the new yarn to arrive.  I want this blanket done right this second.  

Someone is back to his old self again.  There are a few coughs here and there, but he is on the mend.  He is supporting his Badger aunts and cousins by wearing this shirt today,  The badgers beat #1 ranked Villanova yesterday.  March Madness continues full force in my house.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Planning a baby blanket......

I have yet another baby entering this family in July.  I am not sure if it is a boy or girl, and won't know for a week or two but I just want to get started on the blanket I will be making for it.   Do you get that way?  A project that looms over you and you just need to get moving on it?  I did not want to do another ripple, I like them as they are fast but I just could not do another one.  I have been thinking about all of these yarn bits and thought that maybe I could incorporate them into a granny square themed blanket.  A win-win, a new baby gets a blanket and I use up bits and bobs of yarn.  None of this yarn is counted in my stash but I would still like to get rid of it in a useful way.  Today I purchased three skeins of the grey Berroco Modern Cotton on the right of the photo to use as the border for all squares.  I might need a bit more blue in the blanket if it is a boy, and maybe a bit more pink if it is a girl.  I can get those colors when I find out the gender, but for now I can get started on the squares.  Some might be solid and others have two colors, at least that is what I am thinking right now.  This might be a total bust, who knows!

 Now friends I have not bought yarn in quite some time, actually December I think.  And I vowed not to buy anything that wasn't a necessity.  Well this gorgeous yarn above is not a necessity like the yarn for the baby blanket, but can you blame me for bringing it home.  In my defense it is soft and the colors are gorgeous.  It reminds me of all my blogging friends down under so it is really a tribute to them!  I know I am really stretching things thin here, ah well I just had to have it so I bought it home with me.  I am thinking about making another shawl, one that I will rarely wear but will love to make.  

My ginormous banana palm is flowering, aren't these flowers interesting?

Little B is still coughing like a maniac.  He went back to the doctors on Tuesday and he is on even more meds.  He is still a pistol so he must not be feeling all that bad.  

Hope you are having a good week.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Snippets............

Lots and lots going on this weekend in my life, how about yours?  Now don't panic but this boy made a trip to the children's hospital ER on Friday evening.  He has been sick as you know but woke from his nap and could not stop coughing.  Those coughs were just wracking up his little body.  He was not that bad Thursday or Friday, he even went to school.  None of the after hours clinics in my area take his particular Medicaid so it was off to the ER at the children's hospital 45 minutes away from us.  He tested positive for the flu which was interesting as he did not have a fever or anything other than a cough and poor appetite.  He is now on Tamiflu and is starting to smile and more importantly EAT again.  He has lost 2 pounds which is huge for his little body.  This week is spring break so he will have the whole week to regroup before school starts again.

More and more organizing is happening here.  I listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up this past week in my car and frankly could not stop myself from tidying even more than I have already.  Maybe 2017 is the year of decluttering and organizing for me.  Now I already think I am pretty organized but the author has a few points I need to remember.  First of all, all things should have a place.  All yarn should be in one place, so now it is.  If it can't fit in this cupboard it can't come into my house.

No more yarn on other shelves, or project bags in other areas of my house.  All knitting and crochet patterns that are not on my computer are in binders.  I got almost all my photos together in one cabinet in my bedroom.  That includes my grandmother's photo albums and old family photos.  I made a pile of items for each of my kids so they will not have to go through a large bin of photos that were kept by me, like my sister and I had to after my father died.  Those old photos are not doing anyone any good in a huge bin.   I got rid of two bags of garbage and loaded my trunk up twice for deliveries to the Goodwill store.  My closet does not have a single thing on the floor but my laundry basket.  This is a first as it is often used as an extra storage space for me.  All craft supplies have been combed through and organized or passed onto someone who will like them.  That includes all of my beads and 1,000 yards more of yarn.  I went through my knitting needles and old metal needles are out the door.  Funny I should be feeling lighter but really all I want to do is get rid of more things.  I have vowed to not buy another candle until I burn the ones I have.  Now about that toilet paper that I tend to hoard, I will still be hoarding it, I mean I am not perfect!

I am hoping three times is the charm for this yarn.  Juniper Moon Farm, Moonshine has almost been a Flaum and an Easy Two Way Wrap.  I have frogged both projects and am now starting on Harebell.  Now as monogamous as I am going to try to be in the future I have another baby blanket to make as soon as I find out the sex of the baby, so this sweater will eventually go into hiding and that is exactly when I have a problem.  Once out of eyesight I tend to lose interest.  So maybe if I knit like a maniac on this for a few more weeks I will not lose my knitting mojo when I take a break for the blanket.

The two sheep on the left were a recent gift to me by an old friend.  Aren't they sweet?  Pier 1 if you are interested.  I bought a new diffuser and placed it on a dishcloth from Gracie.  I have Head Relief oil in there right now because I feel a headache coming on.  Might be from all that cleaning and gardening I have been doing.

I had a surprise when I went out to water my plants yesterday.  Look my Mom and Dad's little cactus is blooming twice this year.  I am thrilled.  Hi Mom and Dad, thanks for the little hello!

One of the mums I planted last Fall has survived and is blooming, too.  Lucky me!

Hope you are having a good weekend. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Little B and an unexpected project.......

First off a special thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments about my surprise weekend.  It was so wonderful, I am still basking in the fun memories.  Let me tell about my surprise project yesterday.  I was sitting at my computer on Monday evening when I saw a wee moth flying around my light.  I killed it as fast as I could and not long after I saw another one.  Of course like most yarn lovers I panicked big time.  Could it be they are reproducing in my yarn stash?  Or is it possible they flew in the door when I went out to walk Max. Hmmm......  Like any great detective I got a flash light out and searched every crevice of my big yarn cabinet.  I did not see any sign of a moth reproductive party so I thought things were done.  

Yesterday I checked again in the day light.  I really went over every inch of this cupboard but could not find a thing.  But I was creeped out, I mean really creeped out so I decided to take action.  Now don't judge me my friends but I microwaved my wool yarn.  I know there are all sorts of ways to treat these potential yarn killers but I decided on the fastest, most efficient way for me.  I tried to look at each skein to see if I saw anything, which I didn't, but microwaved it anyway.  I let the yarn cool, and believe me when I say I aired it out because microwaved wool smells like wet wool. I put all wool and over 50% wool blends into plastic bags and resorted my yarn cupboard.  

Cotton and silk yarns were off the hook with the cooking process, they are able to breath freely on my shelves.  I am really not sure any moth larvae was alive in my stash but I could not take a chance.  So I now have packaged up yarn, which does not make me happy at all.  I like it sitting on my shelves looking inviting not like it can't breath.  I also decided to donate even more yarn, 1,500 yards left my stash so I am finally under 30,000 total yards of yarn in my stash.  I am trying to get a handle on my stash, my closet and my house.

As for this one he has been miserable.  I thought we were getting off easy on Sunday because after two naps he really perked up.  But by Monday afternoon he was miserable with a fever, runny nose and cough.  He stayed home from school Monday due to a previously scheduled follow up appointment, and missed yesterday and today due to this crummy illness.   The sad faces were plentiful these past few days!

Now I think we have finally turned a corner.  He is eating a bit, still coughing and starting to smile again.  This house is very quiet when this little one is under the weather.  I missed his singing and constant chatter.  He is making a comeback that is for sure.

Hope you are having a great week.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A surprise weekend...................

I just have to tell you all about my surprise weekend.  Two weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 25 wedding anniversary.  We are not ones to have a whole lot of hoopla about anniversaries and birthdays, so we exchanged cards and he promised to take me out to dinner this past Friday.  Now why it was two weeks after our day did not even factor in.  We have to arrange baby sitters and such and plus we are just so busy at work during the week we have very little time to think.  My middle son texted me on Thursday that he was coming home for the weekend, not odd for him but odd in the fact it was just a week before his spring break.  I was thrilled to see him regardless.  The Aunts were scheduled to pick up Little Buddy at 5:30 Friday night for an adventure so we could go out to dinner.  Well the surprise was on me.  When we got to the restaurant I saw my three SIL's a dear friend, all of my sons including my oldest straight from Ohio, and my eldest sons two best friends that I feel are part mine.  I cried my eyes out.   Here we are, and no my sons are not 7 feet tall they are standing on a step.  My husband really pulled this huge surprise off!

Here I am with all my boys, which is exactly what I call them all, my boys.  I am so blessed that my husband thought to surprise me this way.  Bringing those I care about so much together to celebrate with us.  My sister Claudia and Don were also invited but could not attend due to her work schedule on the broadway show Anastasia.  We had such a lovely time, the food was delicious and being with those I love was such a great gift to me.  My oldest was here for less than 48 hours.  He is still job hunting and now is thinking of returning to Florida to job search.  We will see what happens in that department as his serious girlfriend is in Columbus.

Little Buddy was so happy to have both of his brothers at home.  He pointed to them several times saying, "You are my brother and you are my brother."  Here he is with Mr. 19.

He got to play with them and just be near them, that is a real treat these days when we are all so far apart.  Even Max had a wonderful time with all of us home even for just over a day.

Here I am friends, wrinkles and all squeezing my precious boy.

He had Dr. Seuss Day this week at school to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Little Buddy loves a good hat and he has worn this one all over the place.

 But as they say all good things must come to an end.  This one woke up this morning feeling ill.  He was complaining about, "A frog in my froat."  And then he got the, "Frow ups."  Now that is serious!!!  Mr.  23 is already back in Ohio, and Mr. 19 is heading back to Orlando tomorrow.  Still I am blessed to have these amazing memories of my surprise weekend.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Kitty Poufs and Little B......

Since making Kitty Poufs for my SIL in commemoration of the March on Washington I have had an idea.  I have had this bulkyish yarn that I thought could easily make some poufs and use up yarn from my stash.  A win-win!  I finished these poufs last weekend and they are off in the mail to my great nieces and nephew.  

The specifics: the Mini Kitty Pouf pattern, 4 skeins of Plymouth Yarn Haciendo, two in #109 purple and two in #110 a light turquoise blue.  These photos are rubbish due to the late afternoon sun.  Each pouf took one skein of yarn about 110 yards.  I cast on 60 stitches rather than the suggested 44 due to my yarn being only bulkyish not bulky.  I used size 11 needles.   They were a breeze to make and hopefully will make four little ones smile this week when they arrive.   These are for my brother's children's, children.  I have only met one of them and they need a reminder they have a Great Aunt Meredith who cares about them.  I am making two more for when my new family members arrive later this spring and summer.  Their older siblings will deserve a treat and this will be fun to already have completed. 

Little Buddy informed me yesterday it would be fun to paint.  So being the fun mom that I am I agreed.  Usually I am too tired after work to get much of a mess going, thus the fun mom sarcastic comment.  But we did paint, and guess who had fun?