Absolute Jeanius

YARN … FIBER … ART

Happy Halloween! March 10, 2011

Filed under: design,family,friends,fun,holiday — jeanius80 @ 2:10 pm

Getting ready for this Halloween seemed never ending! Miss M decided to be a cupcake this year and with some searching through google, I found instructions for making a costume. I had to substitute some materials, since we are likely to get rain here on Halloween, and paper costume would fall apart after 5 minutes. First, she chose to be a chocolate cupcake, so off to Joanns we went to get chocolatey brown fleece.

I read the directions, felt good, and proceeded to cut, sew and stuff the ‘frosting’. Unfortunately, I failed to read about adding 6 inches to each piece, and had to start over. Back to Joanns, and this time she chose bright pink, to be a strawberry cupcake. Carefully measuring and cutting this time, I sewed and stuffed just the two larger pieces, as she is too small to have a stuffed piece around her neck, it would have just been too high for her to be comfortable!

With her help, we glued on 18mm flat backed gems to be the sprinkles, and she’ll be wearing a cute cherry hat I knit for her.

Since I had almost a full yard+ left over, I decided to make her a matching sweater to wear under the costume, to keep her arms warm. I used a well fitting sweater as a guide, and traced it and took some measurements from it. After sewing the pieces together, I then added a blanket stitch around the edges, and added a knitted cuff, hem, zipper band and collar. I used the only zipper I had on hand, a adjustable length (but not separating) one. Good thing she can pull it on with out undoing the zipper! I plan on changing it out later, and maybe adding some cutesy black embroidery to jazz it up a bit.

doesn’t she look thrilled?

 

She was invited to a Halloween party on Saturday as well, and decided she wanted to be a Fairy Princess Ballerina. It’s never really simple with her lol. So we cleaned up last years costume and she added a crown, a wand, and I dolled her up with some rosy pink cheeks and sparkly eyeshadow. She went with her cousins, E (a monkey) and K (a witch), and their friend M (Iron Man):

 

The Saturday Party Gang

 

The Trick or Treat Gang

The Mr. and I also dressed up. I was a chef (I did make a huge cupcake! ) and the Mr. was a back-ally Dr (I know…)-

 

After trick or treating with friends and cousins, me and the Mr. went to see Saw 7 in 3D with friends. Seeing these movies has become a yearly event with us, so now, since the series is over (?) we’ll have to see what comes out next year!  It was just as gory as the other ones, and the 3D effect was used well. Definitely some jumping and screaming! We did luck out by going to a late showing on Sunday, in that there was practically no one there.

 

Hope you all had a great weekend!

 

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Picking Pumpkins

Filed under: fall,family,holiday — jeanius80 @ 1:47 pm

We love to visit actual pumpkin patches and this year decided to find one closer to home (we usually travel to ones farther out but were a bit crushed for time, as well as just wanting to be a it more fuel conscious). Mr found the patch info online, and off we went! It was lightly raining on the way, but we held out hope it would stop long enough for us to get some pumpkins and get home. We were lucky..

They had a field on one side of the road, and then a nice and neat area where you could browse pumpkins, try out the mini pumpkin sling shooter, and a corn field maze as well. The big box of tiny pumpkins were very popular with the little kids. M had 3 in her hands before I could even get the camera ready to take her picture!

 

I leave the carving up to the Mr. and Miss M. I do help (when asked) to draw faces or come up with ideas. While Mr. carved, M decided to draw pirate vampires on her mini pumpkins and add a big pirate on the back of Mr.s pumpkin.

 

Hope you have a Spooky (and safe!) Halloween!

 

Whiskey River Beach

Filed under: fall,family,life — jeanius80 @ 1:44 pm

We recently went to Whiskey River Beach for the weekend with some friends and family. It was so much fun! We had rented 3 cabins, two on the beach and one, Look Out cabin, up on the hill. It was very cool having the waves break so close to the cabins, and the next time we go, I plan on staying in one of those, I imagine the sound of the waves would be nice at night!

 

The kids all had a great time looking for special rocks, shells and going on ‘adventures’.  After the first day, M had a pile of rocks and shells she had found on the beach. She also liked seeing the bald eagles flying, as well as the sea gulls. We even saw  family of otters!

 

 

The kids all loved the cabin with an upper loft space, where they could play and dangle a jump rope-tied monkey over the side, trying to tease the grown ups.

 

One night we went out when the tide was very low, and it was very dark, to walk ‘under water’ and see what we could see. We did find a little star fish and lots of sea grass. Not a whole lot more. It might have been better if we had taken more than one lantern! The flashlights just were not bright enough to really offer more than immediate light for walking.

 

 

The cabins were all pretty well stocked with dishes and cooking utensils as well as pots and pans. There were small fridges and an oven/stove in each cabin. Most also had wood stoves, as well as outdoor fire pits (bring your own wood for out side). The kids loved making s’mores and M loved to pay inside where it was always nice and cozy.

 

 

We loved the trail from the beach to the Look Out cabin, where you can see it perched atop the hill. That particular cabin does have electricity, so no soft glow from oil lamps and fire light, though you could if you brought your own, and chose not to use the electric lights…

 

 

All in all, we had a lovely time, and it was very quiet and peaceful, even with the seagulls !

 

I hope we can go back again, maybe in the summer next time. There are a lot of relaxing places to walk too, a nice small town near by and of course, the cabins are sweet and cozy and perfect for a quiet weekend of snuggling and staying indoors.

 

Summer catch up!

Filed under: family,fun,life,local — jeanius80 @ 1:37 pm

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted! It’s just so easy to post daily bits on Facebook and share photos there too. I think I need to make this a weekly posting. Saturdays should be good. Lots of late night time to do so.

Summer has been great, lots of family time and hanging out. We even went to Idaho for a nice break. Rafting lazily down the river has to be one of the best ways to spend a warm summer day!

I have been pretty productive lately too! After picking a bunch of blackberries with the kids, I decided to make a batch of jam. I modified the recipe to use limes instead of lemons (it was what I had on hand), and just before pouring into the jars, I added the zest of both limes. It was genius! The zest became a bit crunchy and adds a great zing when you get a bit in your bite. I will definitely be doing that again!

I also made a batch of blueberry jam, using the immersion blender to get it all nicely smooth with out having to strain any bits out. It’s fantastic on sandwiches as well as a little bit stirred into yogurt. I may be able to make a batch of huckleberry jam next year, as my dads co-worker has a couple of bushes on his property! We got to eat a few today while we visited and cut up some wood for the winter.

The last batch of jelly was pepper! I used 4 ounces each of jalapeno, red bell, and yellow bell to make the jelly. I didn’t get the peppers chopped as finely as I had planned, so next time I think I will try using the blender (or small food processor if I can find it!). It has a mild heat and sweetness, tastes great with cheese and crackers, ans I suspect would be delicious as a sauce on chicken or pork.

 

Pepper Jelly

 

Up next! Dyeing with Lichen!

 

She’s Four!!

Filed under: family,life — jeanius80 @ 1:30 pm
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My little one will be 4 on Wednesday. It really it true about just how fast time flies by. I remember right after giving birth, asking the midwife if I could go home yet.

M is always a delight, singing, sharing things she finds delicious, loves reading books, dinosaurs, princesses, cartoons, swinging, helping to garden (she’s going to grow watermelons this year!), and loves to play with her cousins. Her favourite ice cream is chocolate, she loves broccoli, carrots, and peas, loves meatballs, and usually only eats the frosting from cakes or cupcakes. She loves to meet new kids, so playing at the park and going to Story Time at the library are favourite activities.

We were planning to celebrate M’s birthday at the park, but due to the weather, it’s going to be at Chuck E Cheese. I’ll still be making her a fun cake (this year it will green with a Tom and Jerry figurine on top) and we hope to have lots of family and friends with us.

Her first big girl decision? Getting her hair trimmed! We’ve been suggesting top her that it was a great idea, and taking her with both of us frequently when we get our hair cut. M was convinced cutting her hair would hurt, and despite seeing that it didn’t, she kept saying “No thanks”. Suddenly, this past week, she decided she would be ok with getting her hair cut. I asked if she wanted to go with me, and I would go first, and then she would go. She agreed that that would work.

So in the chair I went, getting my hair cut, and she was the entertainment for the others sitting in the waiting area. She would show off her Ducky dinosaur, and tell them how she was getting her hair cut. Finally, it was her turn, and she climbed into the chair like a pro. She asked about the apron, and the neck tissue guard. She told the lady it was ok for her to spray the detangler, so she could smell like flowers.

This first snip!

The stylist attached the first snip to a little fold over card, and wrote down the time, place and date of her first hair cut, which will go into her baby book.  M said “It didn’t hurt!” when the stylist showed her the first cut. She was a really good listener when ever the stylist asked her to move a certain way, or look up or down. She was also surprised at the hair on the apron and floor when it was done.  Afterward, she got to pick a sucker for being good, and showed off her new hair to everyone once we got home.

Duckie approves!

No more split ends and hopefully, less tangling!

So here is to 4 years, and to New and BIGGER adventures M!

 

happy holidays? December 15, 2008

Filed under: family,fiber,gifts,sad — jeanius80 @ 8:12 pm

I was planning on writing a great, end of the year/ Happy Holidays post. However, I am not in a good mood, and this holiday season has hit us hard. Both financially and emotionally.

My dad is sick. He’ll be ok, but he is in pain, and probably will be until the end of the month.
Our house is freezing. We have old (most not working) baseboard heaters. Only a few are still working, but they are woefully in-efficient. We also have a wood stove, but not enough wood. It also only heats up the back living room and my parents room, even if we have a fan blowing heat to the front of the house. So here I sit, with wool slippers, jeans, a sweater and a fleece blanket, on the couch, still freezing.
My grandma is in the hospital. She has COPD, diabetes, pneumonia, has been given a breathing tube down her throat, and (I am not sure on the number of) large blood transfusion (4 pints). My mom had went to visit recently, and shared photos. This was before the hospitalization. She looked terrible, bloated, not mobile AT ALL. Fast forward to (?) Friday. My asshole uncles – who all still live at home, but do nothing to help their mother- get into a fight, which stresses my grandma enough that she has chest pains and asks to go to the hospital. It was all down hill from there. I don’t think she has much longer to live. Part of it has been her COPD, making it difficult for her to be active in the begining (almost a year ago), but mostly her untreated depression. She hasn’t WANTED to be active or healthy. Now I just wish I had a car, so I could drive my mom to see her and visit one last time. And I am angry at my uncles for being so fucking selfish that they couldn’t help their own mother, but instead harass my two aunts who have been taking care of her. They also have decided it was more important to spend any money they do have on booze, rather than food, and get into fights like teenagers (they are all in there late 40s, early 50s). FUCK. I just want to see her one last time, kiss her, and tell her I love her again. It doesn’t help that I can’t get any accurate info on her condition because my aunts (who care, but aren’t the best at details) can’t pass on info to my mom, who even if they did, would still probably not pass on exact info either. Last night, it was “She is going to die, probably a matter of hours”, today, who knows? I love her, but just want her to pass on peacefully. Then she won’t be in any pain anymore, or depressed, and my uncles will then have to deal with finding and affording a place to stay as well as food (all which my grandma currently provides). Personally, I think all but one will end up homeless or in a shelter.
As for gift giving. well. I love Christmas. My family has never celegrated it religiously, always secularly. For us, it is a time for gift giving and good food. I don’t even know what we are going to get our daughter for christmas. The adults in my immediate family (sisters, the spouses, parents and one uncle- dads brother, not the previously mentioned uncles) all draw a name for a ‘secret’ santa gift giving. Jasons family gets together Christmas Eve, and eat, do a gift game (I have no clue what it is called) for the adults. Kids get to open some gifts, and everyone then gets to have christmas morning at home, with no running around. 🙂 It’s all fun, but being broke makes it harder to find gifts I WANT to give. I was able to get some pretty fiber batts for giving to a few friends, and spun up some for two other friends. I just really want the holidays to be over.

An ongoing stressor for me has been living with my parents. They are not bad roomies. Quite the opposite. The problem has to do with perspectives. My mom does the majority of the house work (not by design). This happens because she and I have very different priorities. I would rather be spending time with my daughter, knitting, spinning, or reading than doing housework. My mom though, has no hobbies. So it is usually she who can’t let the dishes sit, or mop and sweep constantly (it never looks like it was done, since the dogs all run in and out as they please, leaving paw prints and doggie hair every where). She also gets passive-agressive about messy toys, or my fibers, yarns or projects sitting out. Since she doesn’t have any hobbies, I don’t think she understands why it is out, and not all crammed into closets or always out of sight.
I keep wanting to sell our house, and move into an apartment close to Jasons work. I keep wanting to say “fuck it” about waiting for the house to gain some equity before we sell. I just want out. I didn’t like the house when we bought it ( mostly to save my dad from forclosure ) and it is not ideal, has shitty heating, poor layout, and I just don’t like living with other people. But also, giving up homeownership, and the security and future financial needs (college for Peanut) is scarey. I did not grow up in a family who had that sort of financial responsibilty. The home my grandma has lived in for 40 years? A rental. At the end of her life, she has nothing to show for it but photos and momentos. No security for her needed care or as a legacy to any of her heirs. I DON’T want that for us.

Well. Hasn’t this been a chipper post? I did start taking St. Johns Wort, to help even out my moods, maybe I won’t feel so overwhelmed in a week or two when my body has adjusted. All I know, is I want to stop crying and being so pissed all the time.

 

Fair Photos October 28, 2008

Filed under: animals,family,fun,spinning,WA Fair — jeanius80 @ 8:57 pm

Geez, I have been slacking here! I never posted any fair photos. Today I will rectify that 🙂

First up, this sweet photo. It was so adorable how this girl was snuggling with her cow:

A freshly shorn lamb!


Cow milking


Jacob Sheep


A Ze-Donk

Another cow, she posed for us!

A Camel


Piggies! So cute!

Look how big my little Peanut is getting! I think we’ll do this every year we go 🙂

It rained pretty much the entire time we were there. We walked around, saw the animals and the Expo area (all the As-Seen on TV type stuff for sale). We had lunch too, Fair burgers and fries. I then went over to do the spinning demo at the Artist In Action. It was really neat (and a little nerve wrecking) to be ‘on display’. The general public was really cool about watching, asking questions, and seeming interested. I just did some spindling with my CD spindle. It was great but after 3 and half hours, my shoulders were tired! DH and Peanut had wandered off (and came back a couple times with stuffed toys, YAY fair games!) to have some fun while I demo’ed. We then packed it up and headed out. Of course, as par for Washington weather, it cleared up JUST as we were walking to leave:


But we did have a great time, and were happy to get home and off our feet!