Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Thanks

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For about a year and a half, I have been dreaming about me and Joe hosting our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. Of course, in these dreams, our living quarters were a tinsy-bit larger in the ways of the "dining room," but, nonetheless, the dream lives on no matter where you do end up (and I do love my first apartment). And should I mention...boy, the mind is a powerful thing when it comes to over-estimating accommodation space for 10 people. But you know what, cozy as it was, we all had a great time together...and the food couldn't have turned out better!
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I was most thankful that day (when it comes to the food part) that I prepped the night before-chopping and putting it into little Ziploc baggies, making the jello, the homemade pumpkin pie, etc. I was in la-la-land that night, thinking that with all the hours of prep-work, I could just sit on the couch and read inbetween bastings on Thanksgiving day. HA HA HA. Yeah, right. So naive, I know. I don't know how I would have survived if I didn't do all of that work. I also baked homemade sugar cookies in the shape of fall leaves and acorns and cleaned the apartment from top to bottom the day before Thanksgiving, and I am soo glad I decided to get everything done then.

The turkey was pretty juicy. I brined the turkey with a bunch of spices before heading to bed, and that 17 pound bird ended up soaking for 14 hours in the fridge in the biggest stock-pot my parents own. Jee, it is most convenient living a block and a half away from them when I don't have, oh, a stock-pot, some pumpkin spices, twine, a roasting pan, and all sorts of things I either didn't want to buy or forgot until last second. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for the gravy (made with a bunch of root veggies), and used her cheesecloth and butter/white wine basting idea for the turkey. I stuffed that bad boy with as much stuffing as possible, and smothered it with a bunch of butter inside and out.

And yes, even after taking out all of the turkey neck and God-knows-what innards while keeping everyone's horror stories of "leaving the giblets inside the turkey while baking" in mind,...after we carved the rest of the turkey, "oopsie dasie!"...there was a special surprise at the back door! Hello turkey company people, put a warning on the turkey label for people who honestly don't know what giblets look like, that things are not just in the inside of the main turkey cavity...it's also stuffed in the butt! I just think that they should keep everything together, instead of playing hide-and-seek.
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Any who, I am most proud of my lovely set-up that made its way to the tables the night before (another time-saver!). I used so many wedding gifts, it was unreal.
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We had turkey, spiral ham, mashies with garlic and cream, greenbean casserole, corn, stuffing with saged sausage, butternut squash with butter and brown sugar, cranberries, rolls, homemade pumpkin pie and pumkin cheesecake, sugar cookies, homemade berry pie, and much liquor, of course!

An another note, I've been playing around with my new photoshop program that I bought a little while ago, and have been teaching myself new things along the way (I still need that photoshop book...you know, the one they didn't put in the box!). Along with learning how to cut out something from a photo and plop it onto another one, here are some other examples:

Leaving color in select regions:
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And no, I wasn't beaten in this photo. I was very, very accident-prone as a child, and this example was me leaning on a screen door that wasn't closed all the way and falling down the stairs. Thank God that this was before the whole hard-core child service thing, because the hospital was starting to know me on a first-name basis. I have to laugh at this photo because my hair kind of resembles Einstein's...

"Cloning" a color, and adding it where it might have been (the pizza sauce on the face):
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My brother and I making pizza. Probably the last time we happily cooperated together. Ha ha ha.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Joe and I are thankful for so many things this year...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No biggie.

light blue double looped scarf
Just checking in. Nothing really too interesting to talk about except that the second "Double-looped" scarf has been completed. It's knit the same way as the first. The third may look a little different, I think, because I can only knit so many of the same style without getting antsy. Speaking of antsy, my hands have been itching to make a nice cabled hat and gloves...
light blue double looped scarf

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Kate Jacobs

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Kate Jacobs came to my library Saturday, and I was thrilled to have her do a reading from her newest release, Knit the Season which is her third installement in the Friday Night Knitting Club series, and it is devoted to the winter holidays. She talked about how she didn't even realize that she skipped winter in the first two novels, and she really wanted to show knitting and holiday spirit in this newest novel.

I was impressed with how down-to-earth Kate Jacobs was; she was honest, funny and never snoody. She made sure she had ample time for questions, because she related to us how when she was 23, and working as a journalist, she had all sorts of questions for authors...yet it was hard to get the chance to ask them. She always wanted to write books since the 8th grade, yet was pushed into the Redbook magazine business because of her mom's "you're gonna starve if you write books" comments as an 8th grader with a writer's ambition.

The audience also learned that she grew up in a small town, approx. 5,000 persons, and was a big reader who could easily have read the entire library's collection as a kid. She didn't win writing contests, but she kept writing until she made her way in the literary world. Now she has at least 4 books out, the 5th being a stand-alone book...and Hollywood is planning on making her first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club in to a movie! With Julia Roberts starring as Georgia Walker! Neat!
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The basis of the Knitting Club books is about flawed friends who find their way in the Big City by this club that meets on Fridays in Georgia Walker's knitting shop. They bring their mistakes to the table, yet find solace in eachother and learn to make amends with their mistakes, and to move-on from inevitable things that you can't change. Unlikely friendships form in the process, and long-term relationships mend or break. The book is charming, although not fast-paced, and should make you want to join a knitting club if you haven't already.

Kate Jacobs also talked about a "Warming families" hat-drive that she is part of with Land's End, with a goal to have around 25,000 beanies knit for the homeless. But like she said, she can't knit it all up...and she needs our help! You can visit her website for more information on Vickie Howell's free beanie pattern that you can use to knit up the hats. If you're interested in the 2x2 ribbed hat pattern, you can find others knitting it on Ravelry. You can even send in a scarf if you're still a beginner knitter. If you can a spare skein of yarn and a spare day or so, please help her out. It's for a really good cause. :)
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Friday, November 06, 2009

"Friday Night Knitting Club"

Just wondering if anyone else was going to Kate Jacob's reading at my library tomorrow, the 7th. If you are, you know where it is...and just holla, cause I'll be there. I'm excited!
Sorry, I'm off to try to read more of the book, since I stopped a while ago....eek!!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Double-looped Scarf

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I've been knitting a little bit on some thank you gifts for some people who really were too gracious in giving us wedding gifts the past couple of months. We appreciate their thoughtfulness, so I'd like to give them something warm and hand-knit. I'm knitting each of the three ladies my "double-looped scarf" that really is a fast and easy knit. I'll upload the pattern to it in the near future. It's a great pattern for holiday knits in a pinch!
Get the FREE pattern.

Double looped scarf
Seriously, you could knit this bad boy up in a day or two, tops.
double looped scarf
This pattern is versatile. You not only can loop in around to make a scarf, but you can wear it down with a peacoat and still look great. If you made it wider, you would even wear it on your head to cover your ears on a real frosty day. I'm a Chicagoan, so that's definitely an option!

double looped scarf
It was really important to me that the project was soft, chunky, and a quick-knit, and seemed to be something off of a runway, since a large looped scarf is "in." Apparently. I'm just glad that all sorts of knits are still really in, quite frankly.
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It's great even without a coat.
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I love the texture to it. Seed Stitch is such a wonderful pattern. You can make so many great things using it.
double looped scarf
Something else is brewing, but...guys and gals, I'm off to Olive Garden for Joe and my 1st month anniversary as a married couple! Can you believe that it's been a whole month?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hallow-rific 09

Flapper
I hope you all had a great Halloween! I know I did! I threw a Halloween party that night!
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I went as a "flapper" this year, not another corpse bride.
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My pal Britney Spears also appeared at my party! Fabulous. We partied out on the terrace for a while. You might recognize her from my bridal party.
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Dudes, my apartment was so decked out! I had cobwebs, lit jack-o-lanterns, posters with creepy pictures (large windows with owls or bats breaking through, dungeons, bookcases [which I covered the bathroom door with-it's a secret door!]. I even put glowsticks under the fireplace, dungeon door and under the ghost's eyes and hung fake tealights in place of my owl's eyes...it was hilarious! It was so neat with the lights off. I even had a small graveyard and lots of cool lights for ambience. There was plenty of booze in my punch couldron and junkfood to eat (with worms and gummy eyeballs in it!). Don't forget the halloween music too. You guys need to hang with me next time. We knittas have the best parties!
Dr. Stange Love
My hubby, "Dr. Stange Love." I begged him to be my "gansta," but he refused. Zut Alors.
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