Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Crafternoon and a Few Mustaches

Project 365: Day 331

left to right - Jill, Sally, Mary Margaret, the spot where my mom was sitting,
Cyrus, Meg showing off her new mustache cowl, Missy, the spot where I was sitting, Jen

Meg's mustache cowl and Cyrus's real mustache are matchy-matchy!

Today the lovely crafternoon folks gathered at my house to craft the afternoon away. It has been really fun to host this lively and creative group. I'm looking forward to next month's group already!

Saturday Sunbathing

Project 365: Day 330
February 27, 2010

Yesterday was filled with getting things done around the house. Jack spent his time getting his fill of sunshine.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dinner Date

Project 365: Day 329
February 26, 2010

Most often my Friday night dinner dates are with Paul, but this Friday I had a date with Jamie and Sylvia. This was an interesting dining day for Sylvia as she had an indoor picnic lunch at daycare and then ate on Jamie's lap for dinner. Sylvia wanted to sample what Jamie was eating and we found out that she likes beet chips, but is not a fan of pickles or mangoes. Luckily Sylvia left Jamie's sandwich alone, so she got to eat something, too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Swanky Ride

Project 365: Day 328

Sometimes, if I am having a lucky day, I get to take the last leg of my morning commute on the fancy commuter bus. Those suburbanites ride is such luxury compared to us city bus folks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Project 365: Day 327

Little stars can be found on the pavement where the light rail tracks cross the road on the Hiawatha Line. I wonder if they made them just for the sake of beauty or if they symbolize something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Project 365: Day 326

The living room furniture has been put back in its proper place and I am so happy with the color combination. The paint store stress of choosing between the many, many options and the 2.5 days of work was totally worth it! Now, we are ready to tackle the next thing on the very, very long to-do list. Maybe we should hang things on the wall?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hiya Hiya Needles

Project 365: Day 325

Sarah brought her new Hiya Hiya 9" circular needles to the knitting group today. She is using them to knit her Knitting Olympics project, the Sleepy Hollow socks. The needles, the yarn and the socks were all very impressive! The Yarn Harlot recently posted about the genius heel construction of the Sleepy Hollow sock pattern. Now, having seen them on Stephanie's blog and in person, I totally agree! These babies are going in my queue.

Sarah let me knit a little on her 9" circular needles. Although I love the idea of the tiny circulars, I found them to be a little awkward for me. I am sure it depends on what sort of grip you are used to having on the needles. Sarah seems to be a Speedy McSpeedy knitter on them, so the tiny size isn't holding her back.

If you are interested, the Hiya Hiya folks are having a design contest to promote these new needles.

Although I am not sure that I am going to be a 9" circular convert, I was psyched to find that Hiya Hiya also sells long circular needles in size 00! I love knitting socks in fingering weight yarn and love using the magic loop method to do it. I need to have a 00 needle to be able to do that and now I finally have one!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cold North

Project 365: Day 324

We are finally getting around to changing some of the paint colors in our house. The previous owner made fun color choices, so we didn't have a ton of white walls when we moved in. We are planning on leaving a bunch of the rooms the color they are, but the living room is not one of those room. It was painted a very generic, off-white color and had a lot of scuff marks from where the previous owner's couch had backed up to the wall.

We are relatively new at this, having only painted one apartment together in the past, so hopefully we will gain in speed on the next rooms. Compared to when we painted our last apartment, this time we had a lot less square footage to paint, but we care a lot more about the finished result. Since we also repainted the ceiling, it took us most of the weekend to do it and we still aren't totally done. We want to do a few more touch-ups in the light of day and then I think we will be ready to peel off the tape!

The only drawback to changing out those boring white walls for pretty Cold North colored walls was that my hand hurts so badly from holding the brush that I couldn't knit tonight. It is a good thing I am not on an Olympic Knitting deadline.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Like A Barnyard On A Hot Summer Day

Project 365: Day 323

Since my mom had just returned from her cruise vacation on her birthday, we had to wait until today to celebrate together. After eating some fruit crepes with lingonberries at Taste of Scandinavia, we went to a late afternoon wine class and tasting at Haskell's.

My mom really likes wine and I do too, so we were excited when we saw this class/tasting that focused on wines of Argentina.

We learned about the wine regions of Argentina and the wines that come from them, the climate and how it influences grape growth and irrigation, the wine export history and a bit about Argentinian culture. All in all, we tasted 13 wines ranging from a moscato-type white to a dry white to a new red to an aged private stock red. The wines were really good, and from what we were told, the value is great due in part to the link between the Argentine peso and the US dollar.

I enjoy wine tastings because it really gets me focused on the wine, noticing the smell, appearance and taste. Plus, the descriptors can be a riot. The title of this post was a descriptor the man leading the tasting used to explain one of the wine's qualities.


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

Project 365: Day 322

I pass by these silos that get tagged from time to time. Then, they get covered up a la the art of graffiti removal. If you want to watch the whole film, thanks to the awesomeness of YouTube, you can!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shoe Tree

Project 365: Day 321

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rush River

Project 365: Day 320

Today was rather "meh" for me and not so great for Paul. So, we both went to the gym and then came home to finish the day off with a beer. Here's hoping that tomorrow is more pleasant.

My Not As Chunky Hat

Yesterday I wrote about my felted mittens. Today, I am posting about my other constant cold weather companion this winter. My hat!

I have long been pining for an earflap hat, but had never found the exact shape and pattern that I was looking for. Well, with this pattern, I found the right hat for me, for my dad, for Paul and for Sylvia. These hats have all been knit with the same pattern/numbers, but have come out different sizes based on the yarn I used.

One of the things I like about this pattern is the little flap on the back of the hat. It helps to keep the wind out of your neck.

The pattern called for i-cord for the ties. I opted for a more feminine look with a thick braid and tassels.

Here is the one unkind thing that I have just done to you. I have told you how great this pattern is, yet I am not sure you can get it. It was distributed by Depth of Field Yarns as a free pattern with purchase of Malabrigo Chunky yarn. Maybe if you contacted them, they could hook you up?

The one thing you can get your hands on is the yarn that I used for this hat. It is Malabrigo Twist. This yarn has the usual Malabrigo softness and awesome color variation, but is spun in a way that makes it more durable and less likely to pill.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brown-Eyed Girl

Project 365: Day 319

I paid a little visit to the Brodd family tonight and I got there early enough to see Sylvia before her bedtime. I also got to see their newly staged, on the market house. Let me know if you are looking to buy a house in South Minneapolis. I know of a really cute one!

Felted Mittens

Now that we are well into winter and I have been wearing these mittens everyday, it is about time they got some blog time. I have now knit the Felted Mittens pattern by Nancy Lindberg 3 times! I keep going back to this pattern because I find the mittens to be just the right density to keep me warm while still affording some amount of dexterity.

For extra warmth and to put something between my skin and the wool, I also wear a cotton/silk mitten. Here is a shot of the unfelted mitten with the liner mitten.

It is so fun to knit things for felting. They have a circus like feeling to them until they are felted. I have had many people eye my knitting and then ask me what I am making in a baffled manner. Here they are displayed on the seat of a chair in their pre-felted enormity.

Another perk of Nancy's felted mitten pattern is that you can knit it using Brown Sheep Nature Spun sportweight yarn. Nature Spun is really affordable and comes in a billion colors.

Monday, February 15, 2010

V-Day Swap

Project 365: Day 318

My Monday lunchtime knitting group had a little knitting swap in honor of Valentine's Day and in honor of just liking to give each other little gifts. We had a creative and colorful spread. Thanks, ladies!

Randomness from the past week

Instructions for waiting in line. Posted at a thrift store next to a sign that warned against pushing, shoving and/or hitting other customers.

looming icicles.

Fanny checking out Tchazo's handiwork

really, really ripe banana + low-fat plain yogurt + chopped pecans + maple syrup = delicious breakfast

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Moth Hater Sachets

Project 365: Day 317

Tomorrow my lunchtime knitting group is exchanging little gifts in honors of Valentine's Day. I made these sachets and stuffed them with things moths are reputed to dislike. My thought is that these sachets can be put in my fellow knitters' yarn stashes to ward off any potential moth infestations. Just talking about moths gives me the willies.

On a brighter note, Happy Birthday Mom!

And Sew-On

Project 365: Day 316
February 13, 2010

Yesterday I worked on a few sewing projects. In the process, I confirmed what I already suspected, I need a new sewing machine. The one I have stinks, literally and figuratively.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friend or Foe?

Project 365: Day 315

Before owning a house I never thought icicles were anything more than an attractive looking winter phenomenon. Now that I am a homeowner, icicles mean potential ice dams! They have officially lost some of their appeal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Project 365: Day 314


Bonus: PM

There is now light on BOTH sides of my commute. Hooray!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Project 365: Day 313

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Face Eater

Project 365: Day 312

Tchazo got a new stuffed animal over the weekend. After viciously shaking it around for a little bit, he went to work on eating the face. I think it took him less than an hour from the time he received the toy to get to the point of ripping the stuffing out of the bunny's face. It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shoveling and then Shoveling Again

Project 365: Day 311

So, truth be told, we ain't got nuthin' on the east coast this winter as far as snow totals go, but we have had regular snow falls. Now that we own sidewalks and a driveway, we have to shovel each and every time it snows. I would say that, so far, it hasn't been that much of a burden and maybe we even enjoy it a little. That will probably change over time, but up to this point, it has been kind of a novelty for us. We have a tiny driveway with the only place to pile snow being against the fence. The snow mound is officially taller than the fence and almost as tall as Paul.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Un-Super Bowl Party

Project 365: Day 310

Today I went to Charleen's new house. One group of people took over part of the house for crafting and the other group took over a different part of the house for game watching. Can you guess which group I was in?

Extreme Percussion

Savage Aural Hotbed

In addition to all of the fun I had at the Art Shanties, I also had tickets for a concert yesterday. I accumulated enough volunteer hours at the Cedar Cultural Center that I could exchange them for 2 free tickets. So last night Jessy and I went to see the Twin Cities Heavy Hitters - Extreme Percussion show with Savage Aural Hotbed, Batucada do Norte and Barinya. She and I both love percussion music and were interested to see Savage Aural Hotbed in person. They define themselves as such:
sav'age, adj.
2. wild; untamed; fierce
au'ral, adj.
1. relating to the ear
hot'bed, n.
1. a bed of earth heated artificially...for growing plants in a cool or temperate a figurative sense, any place that fosters rapid growth or development
Savage Aural Hotbed, grp.
1. a place where wild sounds grow
2. four people who can't seem to use containers, auto parts or power tools in the intended manner
Before they came on, two other groups performed. Barinya, a West African drumming group, started the night off with a blend of traditional rhythms and unique covers of reggae songs. Next up was Batucada do Norte, which is a community samba group that plays with an infectious energy. Both of these groups had me up and dancing almost the whole time. And, now I know the name of the group that performs in the May Day parade!

The Savage Aurel Hotbed performance, in my opinion, was conceptually interesting but, at times, quite obnoxious sounding. They claim to play "rhythmic barrages of pulsating, percussive music" and I agree. One of the many interesting, self-created instruments they played was a PVC bagpipe. They also were debuting gloves that had contact mikes in them.

Overall, the night was great fun. We danced, we listened, we watched and we went away delighted.

Art Shanty Projects 2010!

Project 365: Day 309
February 6, 2010

Every year an art exhibit called the Art Shanty Projects takes place on Medicine Lake. Here is how the site describes the event:
A four-weekend exhibition of performance, architecture, science, art, video, literature, survivalism and karaoke, ASP is part sculpture park, part artist residency and part social experiment, inspired by traditional ice fishing houses that dot the state’s lakes in winter.
It seems that some shanties are mainstays and others come and go each year. Although there are many, many awesome shanties, this year our favorite was the Dance Shanty. It is founded on a simple concept of an ice shanty that you dance in and was wonderfully executed with fun music and lots of enthusiasm on the part of the hosts. Paul and I had an excellent time dancing in the shanty and came away grinning, with blue ribbons and stamped hands:


One shanty had an admission charge which required someone from the group to arm wrestle this guy:

Another shanty was made of chalkboard:

There was a cleverly named shanty shaped like a big tea pot called the Shan-Tea. If you go inside, you are offered a hot cup of tea in a Shan-Tea mug.

After you visit the other shanties, you are encouraged to visit the Spy Shanty to share your intel. Inside the spy shanty, you will find this control board complete with Beep, Boop and Self Destruct buttons.

We love the Art Shanties!

The day was really cloudy, so the panorama is a little lackluster. I hope it gives you a little bit of a feel of what this little art village on ice looks like. (click the photo to enlarge)

The bonus was that Medicine Lake is near 2 of our favorite thrift stores, so after visiting the shanties, we went thrifting and scored a few awesome finds. All in all, a great day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Annual Galactic Game Night

Project 365: Day 308
February 5, 2010

Last year around this time, we had a game night at Mark and Jerri's house. We continued the tradition this year when we gathered for Galactic Pizza and games last night. This time the Galactic delivery driver was in costume, so we got to meet the Blue Baboon. It was great fun to hang out with Mark and Jerri and I always love a good game night. This year we played Word Grab and Betrayal at House on the Hill. As was the case last year, Zoe hung out with us until her bedtime. The difference is that this year she is walking, talking and learning to express her desires with sign language. Luckily, Paul's gigantic beard did not make an appearance this year. I think we all wish we could have game nights more often, but as we discussed last night, there are so many things to do and so little time available to do them!

Another thing I managed to fit in yesterday was a lunch time trip to the Bell Museum of Natural History. There is an exhibit there called Hungry Planet that Iwas curious about. The exhibit compares the foods typical families eat in various countries around the world. The Bell's exhibit is based on a book, so if you can't make it to see the exhibit, you could look at the book. I love getting glimpses into the lives of other and I love learning about what other people eat, so this exhibit was right up my alley.
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