Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Wendnesday: Dahlia Two

This week I am officially back into obsessive crafting mode.

I haven't written much about the last 6 weeks, but the truth is I had a rough patch with my health. The good news is that I am BACK! And what's better is that my creative mojo is back too!

I was able to finish a few projects that I wanted to complete and now I am elbow deep into a new WIP (work-in-process.)

I'm calling her Dahlia Two.

I found this Dahlia square as a free .pdf on Ravelry and fell in love. You can find it HERE.

I was so enamored by it that I immediately picked up some yarn purchased nearly a year ago and began hooking away. After a few adjustments (I had to go down a size of the recommended hook) I was soon dreaming of a little lap throw that would make someone happy. I won't be keeping this piece, and having the recipient in mind while I busily work the hook makes the creative process just that more sweet.

In the past I haven't been fond of piecing together squares, but something "clicked" when I put together my last afghan (a different kind of Dahlia Throw) and now I'm headlong into this new square hook up.

 This time I will be using this tutorial, Flat Braid Square Join, to bring everything together.  I have read through this tutorial three times and it is a well done tutorial with pictures.

Can't wait to see how everything turns out.

I am so grateful for the gifts of creativity and for feeling back to my old self!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Pounds, Three Ounces

This weekend I had the opportunity to walk through the garden of a dear friend and neighbor. She and her husband keep a large patch on their property, and grow a plethora of fruits and veggies.

Being a new gardner, I am always interested in talking with seasoned growers. Especially gardeners who enjoy sharing their tips.

This weekend I didn't just walk away with advice, but arms heaving with vegetables.

I came home with cucumber, yellow squash, green beans, a bell pepper, and the BIGGEST zucchini I have ever seen.

It weighs in at 3.3 ounces. I've known newborns smaller than this veg.

Earlier in the morning I had been in my small patch and had pulled a cucumber that closely resembled a bowling pin, and two small zucchini. When I put the Big Zucchini next to my mini-zuc's I started humming: one of these things is not like the other, one these things is not quite the same. 

Looks like it will be zucchini for dinner, and zucchini bread for dessert.

Thankful... for the abundant gift of friends and neighbors and delicious food.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five on Friday


I finished the Dahlia Afghan this week. I love it, but was surprised that it isn't quite as big as I thought it would be. I think it will be great in the fall when I am sitting on a soccer field sipping coffee and trying to keep warm, but it isn't quite big enough for a full cover up. The only thing I did differently from the pattern was place an shelled edge around the border. It was just too plain without it.


The Girl and I had planted some Gladiolas in March. They grew up immediately, but never produced flowers. I figured we had done something wrong. Turns out, we were just a little early! They are amazing.


I went berry pickin' with my friend Elisa and her kiddos last week. We picked blueberries and (the BIGGEST) blackberries I had ever seen.


If you need a good but very simple Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe, you can't beat Ina's... so, so good.


I've also been eating granola with greek yogurt and berries for breakfast nearly every day. I promised to share my latest granola recipe. My other favorite granola recipe has more sugar and isn't dairy free, but this one is equally good... I like it even a little better because it isn't quite as sweet.


4 cups oatmeal
1.5 - 2 cups combined nuts and seeds*
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 - 6 Tbls oil ( I used coconut oil, but I have used melted butter or canola in the past. Using less oil          
                       yields a crumblier granola, more like a cereal than big chunks)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 tsp vanilla

Mix oats, nuts, and spices in a big bowl. Combine oil, syrup, and vanilla in a separate dish and pour over oat mixture. Spread into a greased jelly roll pan, and cooke for 15-20 minutes at 350. Granola will turn golden in color when done. Cooking longer will lend to a crunchier texture.

*I use a combination of walnuts, sunflower seed, pepitas, pine nuts, chopped almonds, whatever I have in my cupboard. I have also added cranberries, but if you add them I would add them to the granola after baking, otherwise they get REALLY dry and hard.)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Blue

I went to visit a friend who lives just down the street. She has hydrangeas that have been growing in her yard for nearly thirty years.

Lilac. Blue. Purple. They amaze me.

Perfect little bouquets...
... that faithfully come up year after year.

As I snapped pictures she clipped several bunches and wrapped the stems in a moist paper towel and gave them to me. Its nice to have generous neighbors who enjoy sharing beautiful things.

I loved the short walk home with my colorful bouquet; feeling the pride of a child who has just picked flowers from her mothers garden, and dreaming of what they would look like in my white pitcher on the dining room table.


See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 
 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, 
O you of little faith? 
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or 
‘What shall we wear?’  
For the pagans run after all these things, 
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well.  
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, f
or tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6: 29-34

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Gratitude Giving

Today I am thankful for...

... quiet spaces.

... being tucked under the wings of God and his people.

... peace that comes in the morning.

... the harvest of working hard in the sun and depending on rain... but ultimately knowing that the timing of fruit comes from the Father's hand.

You may need to click on this picture to see it clearly.  

...for levity.

... for the gift of making tangible order from messy items... like laundry and muffins.

... for new hair cuts.

... and smiling faces.
Do you think we're related?
... for finding not one, but two, copies of a book I need to re-read.

... for a change in plans.

... for a husband who is truly my dearest friend.

... for prayer and God's word.

... for the ability to write these words...

For all these things I am grateful.