Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas ends

Well the year is just about over.

We spent our Christmas with Scott's family. He got legos & chocodials. I also got legos and a blue tooth headset. We added to our movie collection with Wall-E & Bender's Big Game. We added to our kitchen collection with the George Forman G-5 (plus extra egg plates). All among other things as well of course.

Yesteray, I finished my first toe up socks - yay, i'm happy they're done and they feel really good.
Pattern from Knit Picks - their two at a time/toe up sock/magic loop - Learned a new technique and have plenty of warmth for my feet.

Today my brother came over with his family. Once they finished their tour, the kids went straight for the play table. Maybe no kids for us, but we have toys too (our toys of course).
Lucas to the Legos that Scott was playing with just a few minutes before their arrival - Ciara to Playdough left over from Halloween Trick-or-treating. They stopped long enough to open presents then it was right back to the toys at aunt Chris's house. There was a short transition for Ciara over to MoonSand but they had plenty of entertainment for a couple of hours (think Scott had some fun playing too.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas 2008

I put up the Christmas tree early in December - strung it with lights and was excited to have a big enough place in which we could have a tree.

Last night we went shopping for a few ornaments, because that is one thing we did not have.

Once finished the tree looked a bit sad to have nothing atop it. Normally the tradition is a star or an angel - but what about a god?

If your curious about my FSM you can find more about him at these places.
The official website of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
My crafting of his likeness



Originally uploaded by ssplam
So as I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post - I went to visit my Great Aunt Shirley. (The connection - Dad's, mom's, brother's, wife). We chated for a couple of hours, I had the opportunity to show her photos she wouldn't have seen, new family members she hasn't met and get caught up on all my little second cousins from her family that are all grown up now. The youngest - Melanie - she's a sophomore in highschool - I remember when she was a baby and the last time I saw her she was maybe 12? I've promised myself to try to visit them all more often, Turlock is less than 2 hours away.

So now for the buttons. When I was very small - we would visit often. My great grandmother lived there and I remember her house best from the visits, though even then not so well. What I remember most about grandma's Kirk's house was 2 things. The movie Charlotte's web - it was always what she put on the tv when we were there... and buttons. She had these 2 jars (that I remember as being much larger) full of buttons, different colors and textures. These became my "Inheritance". Nothing really was written down when grandma Kirk, but she knew I loved to play with them, and they were destined to be mine - whenever everything worked out. Many visits to Turlock have brought me home sans buttons - but this time - cousin Janice got warning I was coming (she lives in gma Kirk's house), was able to remember where she'd seen them last and have them ready for me at aunt Shriley's when I came to visit. I was probably a bit more excited than I should have been but none the less I'm happy to have them.

It is two very old jars of many different kinds of buttons, all of them old, some of them broken. cloth, plastic, cellulouse, crochet, huge & gaudy, cute & teeny. Some of them might find there way into projects, but really there just my memories that make them special.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I know I know, I am so very behind on my updating here

Originally uploaded by ssplam
Thanksgiving 2008 was wonderful. We started off in Livermore with Scott's extended family for a nice visit, and a delicious meal.

Marina State Dunes
From there we started our actual Vacation. We were staying in a little town called Marina at a resort on the Marina Sand Dunes.
This first picture here is the path leading down to the dunes just after first light. I wish I could have taken some more photos later in the day but this is about the most light I saw while actually in Marina.

Our first morning there, we saw about a dozen surfers, some small surfing waves and I even saw a few dolphins cresting just a little bit further out than the surfers. Such a beautiful place, I could have spent my whole weekend right there on the beach.

@Marina State Dunes Drop Box
Monterey - Friday, November 28th
After our first morning visit to the beach we were headed off to be tourists. It's Friday after Thanksgiving - Monterey here we come.

Spent the whole day in Monterey. After parking the very first stop is the fudge shop attached to the Parking Garage - I believe it was the Candy Baron. I bought a little square of Sweet Potato Fudge - oh really good. We asked a little about the recipe for sake of Scott's mom (food allergies) and she told us it's really their basic Vanilla fudge recipe with canned yam's later. So safe for mom which is great and I have a new idea for my holiday baking and sweets making (more on that later)

So - Monterey. If you've never been there before there are two major "touristy" sections. Cannery Row (where the Aquarium is) and Fishermans Wharf. Lots and lots of shops to sell you souveniers and a lot of walking. There is a nice little bike trail that connects the too You can walk this trail as well - probably about 20 minutes across the trail on foot, maybe a bit longer.

Ray's are my favorite thing in the ocean - their large and so graceful. Graceful is something that I absolutely am not. This one is in the big tank at the Aquarium and if there wasn't so much more to do - I would have sat and watched it soar for hours.
Ray - Monterey Drop Box
Then there are the jellies. They have quite a few at the aquarium. Didn't have my ideal camera, but I got a few pretty decent photos - like this one here.

Nettle - Monterey Bay Aquarium Drop Box
I didn't take too many photos in Monterey outside of the aquarium. There was a really intersting water fountain on the walk between the two piers though. It's an iron casting - but if you look closely, you can see they were molded to look like kelp wrapped up into a globe. Really pretty.

Kelp Fountain - Monterey Drop Box

Santa Cruz - Saturday - November 29th
When our long day of walking ended it was back to Marina. The next morning (Saturday) was to be Santa Cruz. The surf on the dunes Saturday wasn't as nice as Friday - at least not so nice for surfing but we made the walk every day, just because we could. Also, for some reason we were getting better wi-fi signal on the beach then in our hotel room. Great place to sit and check emails or whatever we needed to look up for our activities during the next day. - Oh how I love my I-Phone.

I had never been to Santa Cruz before - so this was a first for me. the Boardwalk was open but not so much of the rides. From my point of view, the boardwalk was mostly arcade and food, not so many shops really. We played video games for a couple of hours, then headed out to their Fisherman's wharf. Before we headed over, Rusty (Scott's brother) did take this nice little photo for us.

My honey & I - Santa Cruz Drop Box

Here's a shot of the boardwalk from the wharf. Not a lot of things to show you at the wharf either. This is more of a true Fisherman's wharf, with places you can buy fresh caught fish and also places to eat. We had a late lunch/early dinner on the wharf before wandering back to the car to finish off this day.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Drop Box
Here's a view off the edge of Santa Cruz Fishermans Wharf - with Rusty taking his own photos. There was really quite a lovely view here too. The weather was quite nice as well, not too hot, but just warm enough. Warm enough even for people to be on the beach in their bathing suits.

Santa Cruz:Fisherman's Wharf Drop Box
Moss Landing (Saturday Continued)
We had made plans to make a stop for Rusty on the way back to Marina - town called Moss Landing. There's an Army Surplus & Paintball supply shop there. After we'd done that, Scott's mom spied an old ship out on the water that she wanted to try to see. We did manage to find it. When we did there appeared to be 2 of them - reproductions of old Spanish vessels. They were loaded with people in regular clothes, and a few docents with period dress. My guess is they were a touristy thing for Thanksgiving?

Moss Landing - Spanish reproductions Drop Box
Managed to get one more shot in Moss Landing before it was too dark. This one is just at the end of a little beach looking out over the bay. Such a beautiful Sunset to take with me for the end of a lovely day and our last day on the coast

Moss Landing - Sunset Drop Box

Turlock - Hilmar Cheese Factory - Sunday, November 30th
On Sunday morning we were out of their early - too early to say "bright". Still dark even. We walked down to the beach still. Didn't go as far down as before because it was too dark to see. But from the top of the hill we could just see the white of the surf as it crashed down onto the beach. Got out of Marina around 5:30 am and started out toward Turlock. There was a swapmeet for the family to attend, and a great aunt for me to visit who I'd not seen in quite a while. Got to spend about 2 hours with her and upon leaving she found my buttons (more on that later too).

One last stop before coming home for an end to our vacation - the Hilmar Cheese Factory. They have a nice little lunch counter (really good cheesy potato chowder) - lots of cheese and other goodies to buy (including Orange or Cranberry Curd. Or how about Apricot/Bell Pepper Jelly - these 3 things came home with us).

for my photo op...These cute little cow tiles were in the bathroom.

Hilmar Cheese Factory Drop Box
Outside the factory there is a pretty little pond with a waterfall you can walk behind. Isn't it nice? The last bit of touristing I did for my Thanksgiving weekend.

Hilmar Cheese Factory Drop Box

Thanks to Scott's family for letting me tag along. I had such a great time.

If you'd like to see more photos of any of these places - you can view my Flickr set: Thanksgiving 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Originally uploaded by ssplam
Isn't my pumpkin so cute. He was grown in the boyfriends family garden. He was my clue to kids in our brand new neighborhood that we were a trick or treating house. I was so thrilled the first time the doorbell rang. Alas - it was a rainy night and we had only 6 kids come to the door but I'm still glad we had some.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rainbow Sock - FINISH

2nd Rainbow Sock # 5
Originally uploaded by ssplam
Yay, I finished the pair and I am so pleased. It's a bit warm just now to wear them too much but they are really comfortable.


Originally uploaded by ssplam
I pulled this guy out of the closet where he's lived lately so that I could take his picture. He's made with a chenille yarn in "crochet on the double" style.

Beady eyes are kind of weird, but I think I'll leave them that way. :)

Here's the info on the book where I found the pattern:
Annie's Attic #873253, Easy Cuddly Critters

Remote Caddy

Remote Caddy
Originally uploaded by ssplam
As our collection of remote controls continues to grow, I decided it was time to build something for them. Tore up a pair of jeans that had a few too many holes for patching (like the big long one that travelled down half the leg), grabbed out my Singer Simple and some pins and gave it a go. I'm so pleased with how it came out and so is the boyfriend. (The big pocket - that's for the xbox controller)

This was my first use of the new machine I bought and I'm so pleased with its output. As long as I could get the fabric height under the needle in the first place, it gave me no trouble pushing through the layers. (about 7 layers of denim seemed to be the max hight allowance).

Friday, July 11, 2008

yay & nay

Yay: I got my fleece from Scott's aunt so I have a new hobby to try out
Nay: I have to do the yucky skirting/cleaning part myself

Yay: I got a raise
Nay: I spent all of my raise and then some (quite a bit of some) on new tires, they cost 400 bucks, looks like I'll be a little bit short for a little while, Scott gets to buy groceries I think.

Yay: It's cooled down a little bit
Nay: My puppy and his family are probably going to have to evacuate their homes for a while. (Stupid Butte fire)

Finally a Yay: It's friday and time to relax for a few days.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

World Wide Knit in Public Day

Originally uploaded by ssplam
I organized (really just made sure the park was open and made a few giveaways) a World Wide Knit in Public Day in Fremont Park for my Sunday morning knitting group. We invited Ravelry members from our area and one of my group invited the Sacramento Knitting Guild. It turned out that we had about 15 women present.

Couple of people stopped in to visit, the guy you see in the picture was (I believe) Jason. He chatted with us for a while and helped Cindy to win 2nd place in a sock/photo scavenger hunt.

A lovely Russian lady stopped by to visit and also helped Cindy in her contest.

We also received applause from another person walking by. It was a fun morning that lasted from 9:30 am to well past morning at 3pm.

Look forward to trying again next year.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Originally uploaded by ssplam
I finished him and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

My inspiration is from a Flickr Friend's (Pockafwe) creation of the same thing. Slightly different yarns but simple to work.

Pipe-cleaners hold up the eye and the waving appendage, the rest of it is i-cord in a feltable wool, and a free-form meatballs made out of a fabulous boucle yarn.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rainbow Sock

I finally made it through this pattern one complete time.
I really like the sock. I used the designers suggested yarn (and colorway), however I had to add quite a few stitches to make it big enough.

I am really looking forward to these being finished, worked really hard on them and I really want to wear them.


For some nicer things, and craftier things.

Been working on what is called CBE projects. This means "Character Building Exercises" and is a crafting challenge to use stash materials for assigned projects.

I've completed 3 so far.
CBE # 1 - Double Flower Cloth
A beautiful round dishcloth that I found worked up fairly quickly, and I really enjoyed it. Pattern here

CBE #2 is a scarf.
This is not a pattern I would have chosen for myself, but it did work up quickly and it was surprisingly comfortable. Nonetheless it has been gifted to a co-worker who expressed an interest in having such a thing for herself. Pattern here:

CBE #3 - simple sock
Again something I probably would not have chosen for myself (or even found I venture). But being worked in worsted weight yarn it moves pretty quickly, just a couple hours and the first one is finished. Haven't yet cast on the second sock, but will do that once I finish my Rainbow Sock pair. They are soft and mostly comfortable, not too keen on the heel. My changes to the pattern however, removed 2 stitches and used size 8 needles. 2 less stitches made for an easy 2/2 ribbing and the larger needles seemed to make the sizing right. I'm finding that "women's sock" in many patterns is not for big foot chicks like me. Pattern here:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I think I was 12...

when I cut my finger. Washing dishes to do my part in the house, a glass that I had just shoved my hand inside of to wash had popped open and cut a flap of skin open on my pinky. I remember crying but not for pain but rather because I was bleeding quite a bit. Dad took me to urgent care and I got three stitches and 20 years later I have a little half circle scar right around the first knuckle of my pinky.

Today I'm 30 and I've done it again. Washing dishes last night cuz we haven't done it in a while and the kitchen needed cleaning. Same scenario, same finger, little further down and larger laceration. Again, not crying because it hurt, that part isn't too bad really, but crying because I was really irritated with myself for letting it happen a second time. This time 4 stitches and orders to find work that for at least 2 days puts as little strain on my pinky as possible. (That includes less typing...weird to be a tough typist who can't use her pinky.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Brian & Mel's wedding

Scott's cousin was married May 3rd. It was a beautiful day and we had a grand time, even though his aunt decided to mention in front of all the friends and family that we should be the next ones to be married.

We love you guys, congratulations.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Hedgehog

Henrietta #2
Originally uploaded by ssplam
I found a pattern on Etsy a few months back by Yvonne Boucher

The pattern is called Henrietta Hedgehogand she sells it for $3

Such a cute pattern and truly easily worked. All done on straight needles with very easy to work shaping then seaming at the back to make it round. The fur also works up super easy. Total project time for me was less than 4 hours. (I really think it was a lot less than that if I would actually have just worked on it and not stopped to eat lunch or other things at the same time.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Shelley & Jasons house

Shelley & Jasons house
Originally uploaded by ssplam
After our visit with Steve, we headed further south to Modesto to be there for Shell's birthday. Had cake with her family then her and her husband took us back to their house. Hung out with them for a while, had a bit of dinner and caught up on old times.

Happy Birthday Shelley

What a great visit.

(L-R -Shelley, Mike, Josh & Me - sorry J, we'll get you in the pic next time)

Steve's new place

Steve's new place
Originally uploaded by ssplam
We had an impromptu and smallish Grange reunion last weekend. A friend was having her 30th birthday party so Josh came to my house from Auburn, Mike from Chico, then the three of us started off on our little road trip. Stopped in Stockton on the way home and visited with an old friend named Steve. The house he's staying in is beautiful and we had a great visit. (Picture L-R - Steve, Josh, Mike, Me)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My knitting Roll

My knitting Roll 1
Originally uploaded by ssplam
I've also made a roll for knitting needles. While I like the I received from my grandmothers stash, the slots weren't quite big enough to hold everything. I've also got quite a few needles I just don't plan to use. So this one has become my primary and is a little bit larger than the grandma roll. The grandma roll has become home to the misfit needles (those without mates) and the ones I just don't like to use (like the plastic ones that are all bent out of shape). I just used some remnant fabric that I got from a bin at Walmart, about a half yard. Had some ribbon left over from my crochet roll that made a perfect color matching tie. Also added one modification to make the fold double thick, mostly because its prettier than the "wrong side" of the fabric.

My knitting roll 3
Originally uploaded by ssplam

My knitting roll 2
Originally uploaded by ssplam

My DPN Roll

dpn roll 3
Originally uploaded by ssplam
So I finished this one a little while back but never got around to posting "finished" photos. In my post For Robin I provided a link for where I found a pattern to make a DPN roll from some elastic and a store bought place-mat. Except for the part where my machine kept binding up on the elastic itself, it's an easy project. This other picture is of the roll all closed up, I used an iron-on dragonfly to decorate it and sewed an old button on with some elastic tied in to close the roll up.

dpn roll 4
Originally uploaded by ssplam

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Crochet Hook Roll

Crochet Hook Roll 2
Originally uploaded by ssplam
Two things with this post. First, all of these fabulous needles ranging from 14 at the smallest to K at the largest, I won on an ebay auction for twenty bucks and change. I had about a dozen assorted needles before this arrived, and all but one of them are in projects somewhere.

Second, I just finished this roll last night. used a bit of ribbon, some piped edging, and 2 fat quarters of fabric.

Found the pattern at Planet June and thought I'd give it ago. Since I have my grandmothers case for knitting needles, and the one I made out of a placemat for my dpn's(for which I just realized I haven't posted finished pictures of) and no solutions for crochet hooks.

Crochet Hook Roll 1
Originally uploaded by ssplam

I'm not very good with a sewing machines mechanics... whatever settings it is at right now, are the settings it had when it was last messed with by my mom. Even still, I managed to make it come out like it was supposed to and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


So Yesterday I turned 30. I had a fabulous birthday. At my work its typical that something happens, usually your cubie gets decorated and sometime in the afternoon there is cake and and about half the office comes to sing.

Birthday 01
Originally uploaded by ssplam

Well, my mom organized something different, from many states away. She called my work and spoke with my boss, organized a slightly larger event, and even had my brother and his family there. Everyone that was able to escape the phones for a few minutes was there and it was a little bit overwhelming, but fantastic. Even had enough cake to bring home a few pieces (usually there isn't enough cake to satisfy an office worth of people)

Then after work I went home to pick up my honey and we went out to dinner. Before that could happen there was another cake waiting for me from home.

Haven't had a bite yet but I'm told that it is super chocolate and its called a "Got Milk" cake. The cake is very tasty, Chocolate on the inside and chocolate on top.

Birthday 03
Originally uploaded by ssplam

We had reservations for the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant downtown. Everything that we ordered was so very tasty and I'm really glad that it was the place we chose to celebrate. Dinner for 100 bucks, and the chance to play with every bite of food before you eat it... completely worth it.

Birthday 06
Originally uploaded by ssplam

All in all, my first day of 30 was fabulous and I can only hope that it is a good year because it started out better than any other I can remember.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jana's Beanie

Hat 3
Originally uploaded by ssplam
I finished the hat I promised her before Christmas. The day that I brought it to her she was already having a really bad day, so I think it even helped lighten her spirit a bit.

Very easy to work pattern that can be purchased Here

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hating on 8 notes

Do you have strong feelings about the song Pachabel's Canon in D?

Ever played an oom-pa instrument?

Check him out, he's funny.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Aebleskiver I
Originally uploaded by ssplam
Made Aebleskivers this weekend. One of my very favorite breakfast treats. Easy to make too, as long as you have the pan to do it in. Mine is cast iron and I think that it is probably the best to use. There are others out there but it seems to me the nice heavy iron is the way to go.

Base Recipe
modifications: add your yolks and a cap-full of vanilla to the buttermilk (I hate to waste them). Then I use shortening instead of vegetable oil for each cooking well.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Knitting Needle Roll

Originally uploaded by ssplam
This is the needle roll I inherited from my grandmother. I believe she made it and it came with all her needles too. The top has a long piece of fabric that folds over then the whole thing rolls up nice and secure.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Googly FSM

Googly FSM
Originally uploaded by oskay
These are awesome and I think I'm going to have to do some shopping to work out making them myself.

Edibly Googly Eye FSM

Monday, January 14, 2008

Xmas Gifts #2

Originally uploaded by ssplam
I got 5 pairs done. The first ones I gifted right after they were finished, so they aren't pictured here, but the people for whom they were made seemed pleased, this is all I could hope for.

Ok Robin, time to bring in your needles and yarn so I can get you started on them too.

For Robin

So my friend Robin at work sees all the intersting things I knit or crochet or otherwise craft, and asked that I share links on where I found them.

First - Vegan Knitter - Pencil Topper Stitch Holders
(Just in case the right page doesnt carry over, look for the September 2007 page
Here's mine:

Originally uploaded by ssplam
Second - Grumperina - Placemat Double Point Needle Holder
Here's mine as a WIP

dpn roll 1
Originally uploaded by ssplam

Third - Pie Knits - New-Sew Circular Needle Holder

I think I'm glad she did ask, cuz I still had them in recent history, otherwise I think I'd have a hard time finding them again.