Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Little known fact

The most popular cake on the menu in Heaven is Devil's Food. 

Bonus little known fact:  According to Wikipedia, 
the original Devil's Food cake recipe included beets, 
just the way carrot cake is made with carrots. How cool is that?

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is 'Wings'. 
Wings made us think of angels and angels suggested Angel Food Cake. 
After that it was a short (twisted) hop to Devil's Food.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Here's the question du jour? Sweaters for newborn boys . . . What's appropriate? We get the 'blue' thing. Blue for boys, pink for girls. Yellow or green if you're knitting ahead of time and don't yet know. OK. But newborns of either gender are just so darn cute. Sweet, even. Are flower motifs OK, then? Pastel blue roses for a newborn boy's sweater? Please. We really need to know. Is this suitable?

It's blue and it's tiny. We changed the sleeves so they're not so girlie. This sweater's a variation on our Duetta design, but please note, this is our own variation and the pattern available in the side bar does NOT include either the newborn size OR the sleeve variation we've done here.Nor does it include the pattern for the little toque.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What's Cassie been up to?

This . . .

. . . and that.

(That's a stitch dictionary. Lace stitches. She's got big plans. Stay tuned.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Blue Monday

Today's supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. Blue Monday. We heard this on Canada AM, so we guess it must be true. You have to imagine that last sentence spoken with tongue firmly placed in cheek. When we tried to investigate, we got some reference to a mathematical equation involving weather conditions and debt and time since Christmas. Very official and scientific. Again  . . . imagine the tongue and cheek business. We also read that it was started as part of a campaign by some air line. Now, THAT part rings true. :)

At any rate, if you're having a slow start to the day, or just generally feeling sad, we offer this little bit of nonsense as a bit of good cheer. ALL our drawings are intended as nonsense. This one's no different.

The Illustration Friday topic this week is . . . Myth. Honestly, who makes these things up? Myth. This is all we've got. Pull up a rock, and help yourself to a marshmallow.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Out of intensive care

There! Not perfect, but better. By picking up the stitches at the top of the pattern and working the ribbing up to the top, we now have matching single rib socks. Not completely identical, but Good Enough.

We began these socks on June 15, 2013, and they languished for quite a long time while we were busy elsewhere. This is a very good lesson for us. Although we do keep notes when we knit, we need to be very precise and, more importantly, we need to refer to our notes!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

If you're squeamish, don't look

Remember these?

They've been on Grandma Coco's mind a lot lately. What to do with them? They're too nice to wear (although Kate might disagree). GC thought she might give the socks away, but didn't feel quite up to the Lance Armstrong-ness that this would require....."Mistake? what mistake? They're perfect. Why, I looked up the definition, and I can assure you, there's nothing wrong with these socks."

So this morning she got out her trusty scissors.

(Here, if you're easily upset, look at this instead . . . 

. . . and think calming thoughts. Deep breaths.)

So, which one will it be?

We vote for the K2, P2 to take one for the team. 
We like the single rib better, we think. 
It's daintier. (It's also the way the pattern was written. Duh!)


The surgery, that is. What's the prognosis for the patient?
You'll have to check back tomorrow to find out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some silliness

Illustration Friday's prompt this week is 'Ocean'. Great. 
Just when we've decided we'll make a big effort to take part each week this year. 
Week number 2 and we're stumped . . . again. :( 

In the end, we went with a silly image that came to us pre-dawn.

With apologies to James Cameron.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

IF - Edge

We've been in a drawing mood lately, and we've been thinking we ought to try to keep up with the Illustration Friday prompts. Not exactly a resolution, but one drawing a week isn't much. And it's often good to have someone else suggest a subject.

This week, the subject is 'Edge'. Hmmmm..... Often the effect of the prompt is immediate. An idea comes to mind, and over the next day or so the composition comes into focus for us. Like an itch we resist scratching, we hold off drawing until it's all there in our mind. Or at least, until most of it's there. The bare bones. Sometimes things just happen when we start to draw.

With 'edge', we just came up empty. Hence, this little mouse and his lady friend, enjoying a late night snack. Mr. Mouse is tap, tap-dancing along the edge of the cookie tin. That's it. The best we can do.

When we first moved to our house on this rural property, we were horrified to find we were moving in with mice. While cute in children's books, in your kitchen, they're a different matter. Over time, by scrupulously tightening up every conceivable entrance, we've finally made headway. We don't tempt fate by leaving the lid off the cookie tin though.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday round up

We've got a few loose ends to darn in today.

First of all, for Cassie's legion of followers, we offer these:

Second, we received a lovely gift way back before Christmas that we haven't mentioned yet. Our sister-in-law, Lorelyn, the potter, made us this beautiful yarn bowl and asked us to test drive it for her. She works under the name CoachHouse ClayArts and she's in the process of creating her own website. Isn't this yarn bowl fabulous? AND, we can confirm that a yarn bowl is a great device for keeping those slippery balls of yarn from rolling away when you're knitting.

And, finally, move over Laura Secord! Yesterday, at the final holiday get-together of the season, we received a wonderful assortment of gourmet dates. Yes, dates!! But not the dates you'd chop up for good ol' date squares. No. These are fabulous, moist and chewy dates stuffed with wonderful things like candied lemon or orange peel, or crystalized ginger!! or nuts!! Our nephew, his wife, and Bernard's delightful girlfriend brought them for us straight from Saudi Arabia. You can read about the dates at the company website:  (Some tiny part of our [non-travel-loving] heart would really like to leave the Kingdom and visit one of those shops. Just as soon as they perfect that "Beam me up, Scotty!" thing.) Who knew there were so many varieties of dates?? The world is wide, and there is so much we don't yet know.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Monsieur Paddy

He's back. Apparently, Paddy made a whirlwind trip to gai Paris, and now he's full of all sorts of high-falutin' notions . . . like sitting outside with croissants and café au lait while wearing this . . .

O, Monsieur Paddy, comme tu es beau!!

Once again, we can't take credit for a great design. This little beret is Mary C. Gildersleeve's  Swirly, Twirly Tam.  Or, at least, a version of it. The pattern offers sizes for newborn to adult. For Paddy-sized, we had to improvise a bit. Paddy's is 6 inches in diameter. (You'll remember that Paddy is Anita Wilschuit's Monkey Jacobus.)

We were so anxious to see how it finished, that we forgot to photograph the beret before we blocked it. Fortunately, we have these photos:

Straight off the needles, unblocked . . .

. . . and blocking on a tea cup saucer, while undergoing inspection.

Notice it even has that little stem at the top. So cute!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Birdie Newz

When we first moved to this rural property, 25 years ago, we were eager to set up a bird feeder for our feathered friends.  Over the years, we've had some hits and some misses. One year, we had an influx of rats who visited regularly. It's alarming to see a rat at your feeder when your feeder is on your deck only steps from the door. It's especially alarming to see those rats during daylight. It means you have a LOT of rats! Probably more rats than you'd want. Fortunately or maybe UNfortunately, we don't have photos of that. You have to take our word on it. Since then, a combination of feral cats and fishers seem to have eliminated the rat population.

One year we had a wave of Grosbeaks stop by. We think they included us in their migration route that year. If you're not sure, Grosbeaks are the birds that look like Ninja warriors. Seeing one is exciting. Seeing a throng of them is pretty spectacular.

We've had lots of Blue Jays. Always. They're noisy, but they're beautiful. What we didn't have for the first decade or so was a Cardinal. We've wanted Cardinals for a very long time.

And then, a few years ago, we saw one. He came at dusk and dawn. And sometimes he brought the missus. Cardinals and Blue Jays are ground feeders. They like to stand with their feet on solid ground. They also like to be close to some shrubbery for a quick escape. So, this year, after we saw a few Juncos and Chickadees picking at the ground underneath our lilac bush, we got the bright idea to scatter some seed right on top of the snow beneath that bush. And, voila!

Cardinals!!! You can see the flashy male, but if you look carefully, you can see the more modest female off to the left. But wait! There's more! We have since counted THREE males all at the same time! Best of all, this is the view we see from our favourite perch.

And we don't just mean the royal 'we'!
We're all big bird watchers around here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A winter's tale

Most mornings find Cassie here . . . holdin' down the fort. 
Somebody's gotta do it.

Wait a minute.......What's that noise?

Over there!

At the deck door!

See it now?
That's one of those pushy Mourning Doves KNOCKING on the door!
Tap, tap, tap!

Oh, well.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Sometimes it feels good to leave the old year behind, 
and look forward with hope to a new one.
May 2013 be good to all of us!