Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Well. I've no fun stories to tell other than these latest picts of what's new and cute at our hizouse.

Olaf looking regal with the tip of his tail curled perfectly for my camera.

Gunther sleeping with all fours together, tail included.

Blooming camelias I cut from our back yard. They are the most generous looking flower. And I love it that they brave cooler weather.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Who knew kittens were insanely talented, slept in so late and that there was such a terrible thing as catnip dealing???!?!?! Check this fabulous video out.

~:F A T * N * H A P P Y:~

Check out the latest in the life of Suzanna DiCarlo. She's a happy chicadee these days and so are those around her. So fun to watch!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saturday, February 18, 2006

~:F O U R * T I N G S:~

I got this cool thingie of fours from another blogger's stash:

Four jobs I’ve had:
• Designer/design teacher
• Pre-school art teacher
• Live figure drawing model (sorry mom)
• Victoria's Secret Panty Table Greeter

Four movies I can watch over and over:
The Sound Of Music
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Young Frankenstein
The Pianist

Four places I’ve lived:
• Albuquerque, NM
• Cleveland, OH
• Atlanta, GA
• Aurora, IL

Four TV shows I love:
Six Feet Under
The Sopranos

Four places I’ve vacationed:
• Cozumel
• Stowe, VT
• Highlands, NC
• New Orleans, LA

Four of my favorite dishes:
• Chicken Divan
• Steak & Artichokes
• Mom's Split Pea Soup with anything
• Doug's Fart Your Brains Out Chili

Four sites I visit daily:
Post Secret
Scarf Style/Knit Style Knit-Along
Cute Overload

Four places I would rather be right now:
• Red Chair in my Kitchen
• Living Room couch w/ my husband
• In my Landrover
• Anywhere with Bjorn in my lap

Allllrightee den, now it's your turn...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

~:P O M * P O M * S C A R F L E T:~

I got this pattern from my good friend and fellow knitter Marlis.
We meet each Friday morning for coffee at the Java Monkey in Decatur.
Molly (Suzanna's new Mommie) is there, too and the three of us chat away, exchange ideas, laugh, tell stories and support each other in only a small and intimate group can. It's magic.

Anyhow, Marlis sat with me 2 weeks ago and gave me the directions while I sketched out dimensions, etc. of this fabulously simple scarf. It took me two nights to finish and the gratification was oh-so-instant. A great quick gift! Thanks Marlis!

Scarf dimensions:
4 inches wide
16 inches long

Pom Pom dimensions:
Large Pom Pom: 3 1/2 inches wide
Small Pom Pom: 2- 2 1/2 inches wide

Yarn: Soft-Kid
(70% super kid mohair, 25% nylon, 5% new wool)
Two strands held together.
Green: #76
Blue: #58

Needles: #7 circular

Scarf Directions:
CO 22 stitches.
Knit in 2 x 2 rib for 16 inches.
Pull yarn through all stitches in last row, rather than casting off.
This tapers the end to a point.
Attach the large Pom Pom to this end.

At the cast on edge, form a loop by sewing both ends together. (You will push the large Pom Pom through this hole to fasten the scarf closed.)

Attach the smaller Pom Pom (for decoration only) to the tip of
this loop where you have sewn the ends together.

Wrap around your pretty neck and pat yourself on the back. Now go make one for your grandmother, one for your sister in law, one for your best friend and one for your mother.

Thank you god, thank you thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyougod.

Monday, February 13, 2006

~:Nutty Yogurt Bread Recipe:~

350° oven
Bake for 1 hour
Yields 1 loaf


1 T sunflower oil, play extra to grease pan
2 1/4 C unbleached flour
1/4 C plus 2 T whole-wheat flour
1 t salt
1 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
1/4 C mixed nuts, chopped
3/4 C sunflower seeds
1 t honey
3/4 C, plus 2 T plain yogurt
1/14 C milk
2 T sunflower seeds, to sprinkle

1. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with oil. Sift the flours, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir in the nuts and sunflower seeds.

2. Mix the honey, yogurt, milk and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to level the top. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until golden and risen. The bread is ready when its edges shrink from the sides of the pan.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

~:B A K E * B R E A D * I N S T E A D:~

This was a trying weekend. Just as I finished up my Spiral Lace Capelet that I've been proudly slaving over for the past coupla months, I try it on and BANG, it's to fucking BIG. ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG. It's too big to fix, since it's knit in a tube and if I were to correct it and make it smaller, I'd have to start from the beginning and cast on far fewer stiches. Fuck that. I am going to "rip that shit out", as they say, and use the yarn for something else! A different pattern from the Interweave Press SCARF STYLE book. Another knitter made one in pink, a Turtleneck Shrug by Teva Durham. This woman did a terrific job of inspiring me.

I also decided to start on another knitting project (smaller this time) from my friend Marlis. It's a little scarflet that wraps around your neck once, is very short and is fastened by one of the two pom-poms on either end. I'm really excited about this one. Am double stranding two yarns of kid mohair. It's oh so fuzzy and soft. Kinda like the fingerless mitts but not as fragile. I am knitting this in a 2x2 rib with size 8 needles. So far, size is not an issue, thankgodinheaven.

What else did I do this weekend to soothe my heartache? I baked bread. Three loaves. Ahhhh. There is nothing like the smell of home baked bread in your kitchen. I can still smell it the next morning. First loaf I tried was a quick bread called Nutty Yogurt Bread. It's very heavy, full of mixed nuts, toasts realy well - although I must admit the slices were too heavy to pop up on their own without a little help from my hungry hands. This loaf was real easy. No rising invloved. Just mix the wet and dry ingerdients and pour into a baking pan. Makes you look like a genius. We ate this nutty bread for breakfast yesterday. For those of you who like "egg-on-toast", I highly recommend this texured bread.

Second loaf I tried was Mantovana Olive Oil Bread. Yuhhmeeeeeeeee! Crisp on the outside and soft and fine on the inside. This loaf requires two rises, but it's worth the effort. We'll make sandwiches tonight with this and I'll have something showy to bring to lunch at school this week. Woo hoo!

Friday, February 10, 2006

~:O H * S U Z A N N A:~

My dear friends Molly and Josh had their first baby last month. Suzanna! A real sweetheart. Doug and I got to meet her this morning. Everyone's doing really well, including Scout, their Boston Terrier. It's real fun watching close friends expand their families. Very inspiring! We hope to be there, too someday.

~:K I T T Y * L O V E:~

I have shamefully neglected to tell you about my two beautiful cats, as Bjorn and his big personality jockey for position in this house. Time for me to share a bit about Gunther and Olaf, who are incredibly patient with Bjorn and all his silly silliness.

I have had Gunther since 1992. Got him from the Albuquerque pound when he was just 2 years old. In 1994, he drove back to Atlanta with me in my 78 volvo - crying the entire first day and sleeping for the next. Gunther stuck with me through my student years at PC and then moved with me to Midtown once I started my career. The first week in the city really freaked him out - so onto valium he went and we could both sleep again.

Shortly after Tommy died, I decided to treat myself to a tattoo and a new kitten. In comes Olaf, who was so little, kitten food was too much for him - so he got turkey his 1st 2 weeks with us. Gradually, Gunther accepted Olaf into the family. Today they are inseparable.

Let me tell you how heavenly it was to be a single girl and the owner of 2 lovely cats. I used to wake up in the morning with 2 creatures on my chest, staring down at me and purring madly. I'd wake up laughing every time.

When I come home, it's like being Snow White. All the creatures in our house converge and we make family together. It's a nice life. I can't imagine not having a pet. All my life we've had at least one dog. I got my first cat when I was 6. Named her Rosemary. And I've had a cat ever since then.

The best thing about having Gunther is that he's big and heavy and really laid back. He's a lap hog - the very second your but hits the surface of a chair our the couch, he's there waiting to jump up. I can hold Gunther in my arms and he won't ever ask to be put down. He'll start purring by just looking at you. He's so relaxed that the picture you see here is of him sitting on my scanner. All I did was press the scan button and ta-da, he sat still enough for the machine to do its thing. He he.

The best thing about Olaf is his slight build and quirky nature. Olaf is a tiny creature with a very long tail. He's beautiful. He's also a hands-off cat. Does not like to be picked up, but once you're quiet and peaceful enough, he'll com sit in your lap on the couch. The only time he really loves to be vigorously petted is when he's eating. He's an odd creature, but entertaining nonetheless. And sweet in his quiet own way.

So there you have it! Any questions?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

~: H A N D K I S S E S * C O M P L E T E D :~

Ta da! Finis. Finally finished the fingerless mitts in this lovely angora and I am very happy. Took more photos if you're interested. They are very snuggly to wear but don't quite hug my hands like I need them to. Angora just isn't springy and elastic when knit up, or at least this pattern isn't. But I love the colors - pinks, greens, brown and yellow.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

~:What Your Underwear Says About You:~

You like to think of yourself as innocent, even though you're not!

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.

The Underwear Oracle

~:C L O S E R * T O * A * H U G:~

Hello everyone. Making progress here with the Spiral Lace Capelet. When I first posted my beginning adventure with this pattern, I was not quite convinced I'd be able to complete the project. I prefer working on little projects because they are kinder to my hands and the gratification is faster. This time I tried working on a couple of projects simultaneously, so my interest never wanes and my hands get to hold a variety of needles. I am doing fine!

Knitting with Andean Silk from KnitPicks.com has been a real pleasure - it's hefty yet glides through my fingers. The pattern is quite easy - looks like a cable, but is actually a series of yarn-overs and decreases. So it puckers and ripples in all the right places. I have knit up about 8.5 inches. At 11, I'll begin decreases for a couple of inches around the shoulders.

I am a person who is forever cold, so I'm really excited about wearing this wrap. It looks like it'll feel like giant hug. When I am finished, I'll post the final.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

~:H A N D K I S S E S:~

This goes out to all you knitters out there. I bought some lovely angora yarn that is oh-so-fragile, enough to snap apart if I pull too hard. But when knit up, it's soft and cozy and feels like a kiss. Lotsa kisses. I'll knit a snug pair of fingerless mitts just for me and no one else, thankyouverymuch.