Monday, January 31, 2011

6 months ago

6 months ago today I married my high school sweetheart after 9 years of dating.  It was more than I ever expected...he is more than I ever expected. 

(Photography by the amazing Anne Ruthmann)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fresh Air

One of my wishes for 2011 was that I would make it a priority to go on at least one hike a month.  Well here we are with only 3 days left in January, and I still hadn't taken my hike.  So I got it set in my head (mistake number one) that I wanted to go snowshoeing around the pond in our town today and then proceeded to bombard my husband the second he woke up (mistake number two---imagine an excited puppy trying to wake you up from a deep sleep) with my plan for the day.

When I got a lukewarm reply I was crushed (well, maybe not crushed, but you get the idea).  So I sulked and I sulked some more until I finally realized I don't need him to go snowshoeing.  I have a car to get me there.  I have two legs.  I have a cell phone in case something goes horribly wrong.  I have a sense of direction (well, sort of...). 

So, I quickly bundled up and headed out the door solo.

The fresh air.  The exercise.  The quiet creaking of the trees swaying in the wind.  The itty bitty hemlock pine cones on the snow.  The view across the frozen pond.  All of the animal tracks.  The distant drumming of a woodpecker.  It was one of the best things I've done in a long time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Wedding Quilt

Last January I started cutting strips of fabric in our wedding colors, that would become our wedding quilt.  I was determined to make a double wedding ring quilt, even though I had only made two quilts before (a black and white nine-patch and a bold, spring inspired Turning Twenty).  I also had absolutely no experience what-so-ever sewing curves. 

Most of the fabric is stuff that I picked up simply because I liked it and it fit our color scheme of gray, ivory, saturated purples and blues.  However, I saved scraps of my wedding dress when I had fittings, and have swatches from the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, as well as the swatch that my purple shoes were dyed to match and those will be worked into the quilt as well.

I knew I would never be done with it by July for our wedding, so I have been casually working on this quilt on and off throughout the year.  It was great to be so relaxed about it during the wedding planning, but now I'm at the point where I've been working on it for a year and I'm losing steam.  Every time I'm in the mood to sew I end up thinking "Really? This thing still?" and lose inspiration.  I think it's time to push through and really get down to business, so I've given myself a self-imposed deadline: this quilt will be done by our one year anniversary at the end of July. 

If I really plan on finishing it by then I will need to have the top entirely done by the end of April to allow time for the quilting and binding.  Oh boy, I better get sewing...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out and About...and a new project

Today I was in the confines of a rink.  I'm hoping before too many weeks pass I will be able to get up to the lake and sail over it's vast openness. 

Today while skating, I realized that during the week I get so caught up in the routine of waking up, going to work, coming home from work, making dinner, doing all of the little things that need to get done, going to bed, and repeating that for the next 4 days, that I forget how important it is to make opportunities for myself to get outside and have some fun during the week.  I need to work on remembering to live, really live, all the time, not just on the weekends. 

On a different note...for awhile I have been wanting to create some sort of album/scrapbook/documentation of the things that I make.  Something that says when I started and finished the project, who it was for, any special meaning behind the project etc. I've printed out photos of some of my knitting projects and bought a 12x12 scrapbook, but I'm not entirely sure how I want to go about it...

I'm not sure if I want to have all crafts together and arranged chronologically or if I want to put all sewing projects/quilts etc. together, knitting together, and so on?  I also don't know what I want to do as far as embellishment goes.  What seems like forever ago I was very into scrapbooking, so I don't know that I would be satisfied with a plain page, but I also want it to be easy enough to keep up with over time.

I'd love for this little project be a place of reference for me, but also something that can be passed down someday when all of the things I have made have been separated from each other or loved to bits and shreds.  One of my great great grandmother's was very crafty, she made beautiful quilts,  knitted items, and embroidered samplers.  I wish that there had been some record of the things that she had made over the years, that her creativity had been documented.  Has anyone ever made an album like this?  I'd love any and all suggestions!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


"There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope."
-Bern Williams

This week is going to be a trying week at work, staying strong for all of the littles who need me...but we will make it through on hope.

(The sunrises have been beautiful lately...I haven't been very good about photographing them, but almost every morning I stop getting ready for a few minutes and watch the brilliant paintbox colors rise from behind the shadowed mountain.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Solitude

This January Sundays have been a day of quiet.  A day spent puttering around the house, working on little projects that there doesn't ever seem to be time enough for during the week. 

I was hoping to be able to go out snowshoeing today, but a windchill in the negative numbers changed my mind, so I swapped out the cold for a cozy day inside--casting on for my honey cowl in a gorgeous soft gray, drinking cup after cup of peach tea, and admiring the light on the mountain that only this time of year can produce. 

The word at the hardware store is that we are in for another big storm this week...someone even mentioned hearing 30"....I don't believe we have a storm that big coming our way, but I have to admit, it would be kind of neat to see....especially with at least 2 feet on the ground already...can you imagine? 5 feet of snow!?  Makes me think of the Blizzard of 1888.  We'll have to wait and see...

Friday, January 21, 2011


Winter in Vermont is really something special. 

Snow covered back roads. Ice fishing huts on the rivers and lakes.  Warm breath puffing out into cold air.  Trudging through snow up to your thighs.  Ice skating.  Curling up by a warm fire.  The smell of wood smoke thick in the air.  The brilliant sparkle of hoar frost clinging to the trees.  Snowball fights and sledding.

There are trying moments to be sure, the days when it feels like the shoveling will never stop, or the car simply won't start, slipping on the ice, or getting caught out during a storm...but every season has their own fair share of things that we simply could do without (remember black flies? heat waves? sun burn?). 

Despite the occassional inconvenience, it is always a great reminder that we are stronger than we think we are and gives us the opportunity to make a lot from a little.

(Sidenote: Right now I am loving Winterness.  I'm loving seeing the images and hearing the words of fellow Vermonters who love our state in all her Winter glory just as much as I do.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beautiful Nothingness

Yesterday I woke up early, and had a piece of cheesecake for breakfast (I just started working out and trying to eat healthy, so a piece of cheesecake for breakfast was obviously the natural choice!), while reading Persuasion.  It was a dangerous thing to start reading so early in the morning, as I always fall in love with Jane Austens characters and can't put the books down...that was exactly what happened.  When I finished (still in my pj's...ahem), I hadn't satisfied my Austen urge for the day, so I watched Pride and Prejudice while winding yarn for my next two projects (Honey Cowl in a soft gray and Gap-tastic Cowl in natural). Overall, it was a wonderful day and just what I needed.

Today, my mom and I are headed up to visit my great grandmother.  She is quite possibly my favorite person in the world and to get there we have to go through my favorite part of Vermont.  It is going to be another amazing day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day

We had quite the snow storm this week, which gave me a day off work and some nice light for taking some photos.   I'm still working on uploading my projects to Ravelry, this is my Claudia hat.  The scarf is one that the hubby gave to me for our first Christmas, ten years ago if you can believe is still one of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The past week or so I have been trying to get my knitting projects uploaded to Ravelry.  Unfortunately I haven't been in the habit of taking pictures of my projects as they are finished, so I've been taking lots of pictures lately and have been getting lots of funny looks from the neighbors.  

Today I took pictures of my toasty mitts (ravelry link).  I made these awhile ago and they have proven their worth when it is chilly out but I need to use my fingers (I especially loved them when hubby got a flat tire and we had to put on the spare...brrr that was a cold night).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows

Over New Years weekend I decided it was time to try something that I had wanted to do for awhile: make marshmallows!  I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen because in all of the recipes I have tried by her, she has never steered me wrong, and this recipe was no exception.  It ended up being a two day process (due to making them late in the day during a cooking extravaganza that left me without any energy to cut them into squares), but the whole process was very easy and left me with lots of springy little squares of deliciousness.  So many in fact that I have frozen the majority of them to pull out for hot chocolate throughout the rest of the winter....we'll see how that little experiment goes... 

With so many marshmallows around, it only made sense to have a hot cocoa tasting.  I have always wanted to love homemade hot chocolate, but it has always left me feeling a little disappointed, its so thin and lacking the creamy texture that I was always looking for, so I scoured the internet and narrowed it down to two recipes that seemed promising.  One called for condensed milk and the other for half and half.

Those that know me know that I usually have an opinion on everything, so I assumed that I would have one on hot cocoa as well, as it turns out, I dont....and my husband doesn't either....huh...didn't see that coming.  the recipes tasted different, but both were very good, neither significantly better than the other.  So I guess, now we have two great recipes to choose from when we get a hankering for hot chocolate....not a bad problem to have if you ask me...