Definition of VonTrapping

Dresses made from old pillowcases . . .
Skirts made from old curtains . . .
A Sunday spent yodelling with my sister . . .
Thanks for all the zany birthday greetings. I had a wonderful day yesterday - I beat the 6-year old at Scrabble Jr. and ate a big bowl of ice cream, and I truly believe that every day should have a little Hoff. I can't look at him without smiling. :)

A Very Special Day

Some 30'ish years ago our good friend, N was born and the world hasn't been the same since. I could go on about what a kind person you are, what a dedicated mother you've been to your two girls, how you spent over 20 hours of your life on a Greyhound bus just to get to my wedding, I could talk about what a talented knitter and overall creative person you are, how generous you are with your time and energy and the countless times you've made those around you smile and laugh with your funny comments, but I'm sure you know all of that already. What would I do without you? Thanks for sharing your life with us here in the blogosphere and may you have many more fabulous years ahead!

Hope you enjoy your special birthday message from The Hoff.

April Crafternoon

The last couple of days the weather has been lovely. Sunny and in the 20's (Celsius) and allergy inducing, of course but I'm not complaining. Today it is pouring rain and gloomy but it's cozy inside the house where I am knitting and we are booking our last flight for our trip to Europe in a few weeks. Consider it our late honeymoon.

Due to our Ferrari laptop's (yes, it IS what you think it is) power cord pooping out on us I was unable to post about last week's craft day, which I hosted in our humble South Minneapolis home. A few months ago a friend and I decided to start crafting together and to invite other like minded people that we knew. Four months later it has turned out to be a regular group of gals who crochet, knit, fold origami, and cross stitch. We welcome all types of crafters!That's Carrie and her incredible star shaped afghan. I love it and have been inspired to work on my crochet skills so that I can make one of these too. And of course there can't be crafting without snacks.Now Mr. T and I are heading out in the rain for some groceries. April showers bring May flowers. What do May flowers bring? Pilgrims!

Flowers for Me?

Two - one planted and one cut - flower arrangements arrived on my desk this week in appreciation of my administrative support and skills. Aw, shucks. I inevitably locked my eyes with my feet, my cheeks went bright red, and I mumbled my thanks. Then I immediately brought them home and placed them on the mantle for only my viewing pleasure from the white couch. The girls were flabbergasted that other people like me. It's not THAT impossible.
NOTE: These pictures were taken three days ago, and I have since then managed to over-water the tulips. They may be 'did'. I want to see the colonel. He's 'did'. This is only funny to my children.

Saving the Earth One Tire at a Time

Did everyone get out this weekend and clean up their neighbourhood? We did. And J found a tire in the ravine and wheeled it right out. I crossed the line at picking up purple used condoms. Just saying - it got nasty. I spent a great deal of time yelling at B to put her gardening gloves back on. My lord. More the reason to get out and clean it up I suppose. The best part was that one of the local ladies handed out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. She's definitely getting invited back next year.

See what I mean??? She's carrying her gloves around with a cookie in the other hand. Well, you can't argue with that 'cause it would be super gross if one of those gloves was touching the cookie. I know this.

Later that same day I strategically left a little knitting project B started ages ago on the sofa, and she picked up the bait and knit up a row without being prodded and hassled. The kid remembered everything! Hollah!

I, on the other hand, am knitting dishclothes like it is 1999. I kind of enjoy feather 'n' fan in little pieces. It's very pretty. By the way, cotton is not fun for knitting two stitches together. That or my knitting is getting tighter. Holy moses, my knuckles. I now remember why I gave up knitting dishclothes. Good times.



There's Gold in Them Hills

Last night, I hopped on to my bicyclette and whizzed down to the land'o'fabric for some organza 'cause I had a hankering to make these wispy flowers. My tires were flat so I was pooped from the forty minutes cycling around the Forest City. There is a shortage of air pumps in my area. It would seem as if I am going to have to throw the bicycle in the back of the truck ASAP and drive to the nearest pump. That's ridiculous. Or is it ridiculous that I don't have a little hand pump? Anyways, I had just enough energy left from my jaunt to do up five flowers. Well, I could have done more, but my feet wanted to be propped up on the ottoman away from the open flame searing the tips of my fingers.

I discovered Grooveshark over the past few weeks, and it's GOLD. I say that because, although J has downloaded a bajillion songs on our network server (every family of four has a network server, right?), they are ALL his music taste. I swear that the longer we are together, the more different our tastes become. Books, music, movies, food, you name it. We never read the same books. He has three slots on the disc changer in the car, and I have the other three. The last time we went to the theatre together, we caught The Simpsons Movie because I relented, and I was so upset that I had paid to watch that shizzle. So he has downloading skillz and I don't. That's where Grooveshark comes in - it's free, no registration required, and it's easy! Right now, I am getting my Ron Sexsmith fix. Sweet.
Cheers! It's Friday!


Where the Wild Things Are

Sounds like you had a nice holiday weekend with the family, N. We don't get any time off for Easter here in the good old US of A but thanks to having my hours cut at work I was able to get Friday off. There's a silver lining around every cloud, right?

Mr. T and I had a nice Easter dinner at home. I made a rack of lamb that was to die for (thank you Trader Joe's!) and used this recipe that Amy from Angry Chicken used to make a very yummy butterless almond cake. We had our cake with softly whipped cream and strawberries. Even though this cake has absolutely no butter or lifting agent in it, it was very light yet rich and full of almond flavor. I would highly recommend it!

Last week I saw this super cute pattern on Ravelry and knew that I had to make them. Who doesn't like little fuzzy monster feet on babies? I know I do!
Isn't that hysterical? I can't wait to see them on a baby. I'm thinking that these may be going to my hair dresser but I'm not sure if she's having a boy or a girl. I suppose girls can be monsters too. And now if you'll excuse me, I have a cake to finish off.

The Bunny Who Found Easter

For the kids - a 'danilla' bunny cake. They naturally fought over the butt.
For the adults - my own concoction of coffee-drenched ladyfingers and real whipping cream and cocoa. I'll be making this again tout de suite. However it may not be the best dessert for travelling as J accused me of caring more about the life of the whipped cream more than the lives of my children. It's safe to say that I drove a little faster than necessary to ensure that this baby didn't wilt. I'm also not ashamed to admit that no sooner had I turned into my parents' driveway, I left the kids and J to unpack the car, ran into the house, and before saying 'hello', panted instructions to refrigerate my pan without haste. So what?

Once my dessert was safely chilled once again, we all went for a hike in the conservation area, but not before my nephews played out a little gargoyle drama. Note to parents: Don't be surprised if the next Condo Excecutive Committee adds this 'situation' to the agenda for discussion.

On the way back home, B made it to the top of the hill first and did her signature pose. Those hills are great for working up an appetite 'cause later she ate three plates of turkey. This girl LOVES her turkey.
After dinner, we played the requisite Sequence, and when the boys got tired of winning, we switched it up to Wizard. I've never played before, but I managed to come in second last place. Not bad at all. I listened to all of the advice and learned fast to disregard it. If you like euchre, you'd like Wizard. And between hands, we made up a list of my mum's wicked skillz. Seriously, the lady can do lots excellently - keeping score, removing splinters, egg salad with and without onions, stained glass, line dancing, laundry . . . Personally, I always make sure she's on my team. Her ears must have been burning 'cause she just called! Holy Toledo. How does she do that?? Well, I suppose it had a little to do with the fact that I hijacked her Corolla to get home last night. Apparently she wants it back. I thought it was my Easter gift. Whateves.
Happy Easter, everybody!


Haunted for Wanting

The littlest found the Easter box tucked away in the basement, and the funnest (not a real word alert) time was had. I nearly didn't notice that my winter picture was still on the mantle, and that can't be with spring just outside the door, so the spring/summer picture was unearthed and put up. The hardwood floors were washed up, the dreaded dusting was accomplished, and the donation piles destined for the Goodwill made a mountain in the foyer. Now I have three more days to spend with family and chill. Ooh, I discovered a Quebecoise chanteuse, and I'm simply enchanted. I wish I could sing along in French. On a random note, only related to the spring cleaning mood here, El found this old dried up clemmy leftover from her Christmas stocking in her room while tidying up, and then determined it worthy enough to capture with the camera after parading it around like some seventh wonder. My lord. See what I'm up against?

So three of us went for a walk while El finished hunting through her room for more decomposed fruit, and the littlest posed in the spring tunic and another skirt I stitched up this week. I might as well take advantage of her skirt-loving now while I can. I'm pretty certain that by Grade 3 El wouldn't touch a skirt with a 10-foot pole. I asked her to stand by the tree, and she posed like so. I no longer fight these things - it's always best to go with the flow of a 6-year old, but I can't imagine what the neighbours were thinking!

Happy Good Friday! It was indeed good.


Ducks in a row

Just another unassuming knitted duck? Take a closer look (WARNING: next picture is of explicit nature!).
This knitted duck lays eggs! Depending on now you see it, the duck could also be pooping eggs, because as it turns out, this is a male duck. Go figure. So now you may ask, of all of the lovely patterns available on Ravelry, why has she chosen to spend her time knitting a pooping duck? N, asked me this so don't feel bad if you were thinking it too. Well, to make a long story short about a year ago my much beloved former boss asked me to knit her a crocheted duck that she once had as a child. Her grandmother had made each of her siblings a little duck that, when squeezed, would poop jellybeans. So being a crafter who can't resist a challenge I searched high and low for the pattern until I found it, however, my crochet skills consist of single crochet and double crochet stitches and so I continued to look for a knitted pattern that would work for this. Fast forward one year and I've finally found something that works. This duck pattern is actually for a felted dog toy but with a few modifications I was able to turn it into the lovely specimen you see before you. And just in time for Easter!

The Munchies

I wish I could have joined some of fellow Londoners in a photowalk this morning, but the girlies have birthday parties up the wahoo today, and I have been delegated driving duties. Presents need to be wrapped and cards coloured ASAP. We're always a little last-minute.

So I snapped a few of my own photos on a walkabout of the house (the best I could do given I was still in my pyjamas).

Mmm . . . fruit salad. Yummy, yummy. You gots to sing the song when you make fruit salad.

Then I chopped up leeks and played with them. I love how they form little Leaning Towers of Pisa when I clean the little slices!

At B's request, I am starting a new seamless yoke sweater for her with this delicious tweedy mohair. It's knitting up so light and fluffy. She LOVES it so far! Who wouldn't? With all the little rainbow specks it looks like a giant vanilla ice cream sundae with sprinkles on top. MMmmmm . . . so good, I could eat it all up!

Happy Sunday, friends!


Sneaker Peeker

Here's a little peek-a-boo pre-blocking:
Any takers? Someone out there that LOVES to block? Come on down.

Oot and A-Boot

That was the longest winter EVER! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed again tomorrow. So we've been taking advantage of all the sunshine and milder weather by walking around our neighbourhood and along the river.
I'm not walking fast - the family walks really slow. I do yell back at them every now and then to speed up, but they can't hear me over the constant howling. What do they find so flippin' funny that they can laugh for a hour straight? I don't get it. Breathe, people.
So I take pictures while they roar and snicker.
When we get home again, it's quiet time. I catch up on my correspondence and drink a cup of tea or coffee - whatever is put in front of me.

And in between all of it, I have been sewing and knitting as per usual. Here's B's new skirt I whipped up using this free pattern. Very easy and quick - I have more fabric cut and ironed to make two more. They'd be done by now, but I was interrupted by the timers that indicated the quiche and muffins were finished baking. I just haven't gotten back down to my little craft corner to sew them up. I doubt they'll take me more than 20 minutes. I recommend this pattern to any beginner. This skirt matches the new spring tunic perfectly!!

And on the knitting front, I am on the bind-off of the Hemlock Ring blanket. I didn't really believe that this row would take FOREVER. It will. I am convinced that it will literally take me the entire weekend. I wish I were joking. I should really just stop whining about it, and git 'er done.
Toot, toot.

See and believe

It may not look like much but this is......a sock! Can you see the gusset? The gentle turn of the heel? Thanks to all of your kind words of encouragement I persevered and a few days ago, turned my very first heel. And not one tear was shed! You guys were right about just taking it step by step and in the end, it wasn't that difficult once you get your brain wrapped around it. This sock is probably a men's size 12 so I've stopped knitting it and will probably rip it out but I just wanted to thank everyone and show you that I didn't give up, in fact, I've already got the leg of a pair of Monkey socks knit up! The ambition is there folks, socks will get knit! Mucho gracias!