My friend Beth started a new group on Ravelry called Finish A Thing 2015, where we are challenged to finish something this year! Here’s her description:

I’m excited about this because it means I’ll be able to get through all my WIPs in a better way, more organized and less chaotic. I’m hoping to renew my excitement for these projects as well as resist buying more craft supplies. I organized all the yarns last week and I have a LOT I could be using, I really do not need anything new right now. It should be a good experiment in self control, as well as appreciating what I already have. I…love to shop online. Not like I-need-to-go-to-a-meeting or anything but I could be a lot better at it. I love getting mail, is part of it. ;-)
Anyway, kind of along those lines, I started Graze today. I placed my first order and should get it next week! Graze is a snack box service. I’ll get a box a week/biweekly of healthy, portioned snacks. I did the math, and it is affordable, as long as I stop buying junk when I want a snack. These cute lil boxes can replace the garbage I buy at the gas station/wherever when I’m out working or driving around with the kiddos. One box has four servings, and one serving of gas station snacks for us cost about the same as one box of Graze. Don’t even consider how much fast food costs for three people, even if two of them are small. This should be fun to get boxes in the mail, and discover yummy new snacks to munch when I’m working, reading, whatever. I’ve done well the last month or so with eating less. It’s tough, but the healthy snacking is helping! I portioned out a bunch of almonds&cheese, almonds&chocolate chips, and almonds&raisins the other day and actually had fun doing it! Now I can grab one of the little boxes when I’m hungry. I used to scoff at that idea, like, cha, why would anyone, like portion out into a million little boxes and where do you even get the boxes and why not just, like, eat better. D’oh. Good thing I grew up, huh? Another good thing is that we DO have about a thousand jillion little perfect portion sized boxes laying around. ;-)
I got off topic. Food does that to me. mmmm. Snaaacks…
Projects! I chose two for this month. Yup. Two. Not four or five or too many, just two. AND if I don’t finish one or both I can carry it over to next month. No pressure. The group is, of course, full of people who are cheering each other on to finish something, anything, so it’s been pretty easy to just work on those two things when I have a minute here or there. I have to say it is a lot more relaxing, too. Now I don’t think about the 50 WIPs looming in the closet, I only think of the two I picked. (well, and the cardigan I’m knitting but that’s plain fun. I’m also waiting for some safety eyes to arrive this week so I can finish working on another fun knitty thing-more on that another day! I’m mostly using the group for non-knitting stuff first. So. Many. Cross stitch projects…)
I picked Bruce’s Tatted Doily from and the ├╝ber-talented Nancy Tracy. Her husband designed this one and I love it. I think I’ll put it under a yarn bowl I put next to my bed for bedtime knitting/reading.

I finished another row since this was taken. I'm more than halfway finished now!

And Dreaming In Tuscany for my aunt and uncle’s 50th anniversary in may this year. It will be a huge weight off my shoulders to finish up these to-be-gifted cross stitches.


I have some chores to do today, but after those I hope to get to this. For now, I’m off to build a napping place for my 3yo. ;-)

No pics today, just some updates. I tried the grid on Man’s Best Friend, and wow! I got one whole column done in less than an hour. I’m really excited about how much faster this method will be for that project. I promised I would be able to start a super sweet Dr Who sampler when I finished it, so that;s some powerful motivation still.
I’m so close to finishing the stitching on Tuscany for my aunt and uncle. I only have a tiny bit of wall left, plus the background half stitches of the vineyard. Backstitching will be last, and is always the most satisfying.
I started a stamped cross stitch for my brother, and that is going very quickly. It would go faster if I didn’t make myself work on MBF, but meh, there’s no due date on that one. I’ve only owned it for a couple months. :-) Not a few years like MBF!
I also tatted another bookmark in blues and purple. Very cute. Kinda looks like a caterpillar to me because of all the picots. If I lied in a Wonderland, all the caterpillars would be tatted.
I’m mostly knitting lately. I am chugging along happily on a cabled cardigan, (it really only has one cabled section, and that means I can easily knit while watching movies), and some gloves. I figured out how to read the gloves pattern (duh) so now I’m getting far on them in a short time. I did 12+ rows tonight alone, during my son’s practice. woot! Soon I’ll get to the color work. Before that I have to put the thumb stitches on a holder. I could use scrap yarn, but I live for gadgets. I had a small stitch holder (imagine a large, dull safety pin) in my purse for years. Literally. I never used it, switched purses, then put it “away” because I didn’t seem to ever need it. I have no blooming idea where it is now, naturally, because I finally need it. lol. No fear, I had another one, I think even the right size, in another little knit kit I have. Whew! The gloves will be my first with all 10 fingers knitted up, and then conductive thread added to a couple fingertips for using touch devices in this 21st century Wonderland. :-)
That’s all the crafties on my mind lately, I won’t even get into all the books that are currently floating around in there too.
Fall is here, with warm afternoons. But I know winter is close after Halloween, so I’m looking forward to wearing sweaters again. Sweaters agree with me. Maybe I’ll have a cardigan to cuddle into before spring? At least I know I’ll have one next fall! :-)
Here’s to crisp mornings and spooky evenings!

I have a gluten allergy that makes my stomach hurt when I eat anything with gluten in it, especially whole wheat or processed foods. It isn’t Celiac (thankfully) but it is a pain nonetheless. I figured it out in about 2004/2005 and have worked since then to partially eliminate gluten from my foods, but not entirely. Since it isn’t a severe allergy, I can have some, about a slice of bread’s worth, per day. Most days I don’t eat bready at all, which is pretty neat considering this country loves everything with bread, meat, fried, or both.
Anyway, this year I have gotten around to baking and cooking gluten free. I gave away about 2lbs of ap flour to Penny, then went out and bought everything I might need to go gf. I found America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free cookbook at CostCo and it completely changed everything!
It goes from which gf products work best, why, and even how to mix my own ap gf flour. I did that today and made some banana cookies based on a recipe from Bake at 350 (omg go there and drool). I modified it to use gf flour instead of regular ap flour, and used a trick with the bananas from another ATK book that gets a ton of banana flavor without the excess moisture gumming up the works. As far as my baking at high altutide (we’re, what, 6000ft? ish), I just crossed my fingers….and then….


They are so fluffy and they pack a sweet nanner punch of flavor. Look how well they rose! Normally I’d have flat, sad cookies. Num. I think I’ve eaten six of them so far and the fourth sheet is in the oven. To the baker go the spoils, friends, and victory is sweet.

Here is the original recipe from Bake at 350, and the only things I changed were:
*Substitute the same amount of your favorite gf ap flour.
* For the mashed bananas: freeze some brown bananas, about 3 or 4, and let thaw in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Keep all that liquid and simmer it to reduce it to about half the original amount. Add it to the bananas and mash, then measure out a cup for the recipe.

P.S. Nanners are what bananas turn into when they ascend to a higher plane of delicious.
P.P.S. I haven’t been paid or endorsed to talk about these methods or recipes. I did obtain (gratefully) permission to link to Bake at 350’s free recipe. It makes me deleriously happy to bake food I can eat without getting a stomachache! Thanks Bridget!

After 43 days of no moisture (none, at all) we had snow last night and it is beautiful. Everything was perfect; the trees, the mountain, rabbit tracks in the park, and especially that little blue puffy jacket. Those bigger footprints on the right of the little guy are his big brother’s. <3



We don’t travel much, but it’s nice to be prepared when we do. I have had this pattern set for years, and I made the nap mats for both boys. I made a watermelon one for my oldest and the space/astronaut one for my youngest. I just finished the space mat yesterday! The whole project, start to finish, (assuming you have time and no one to interrupt), takes about 2 hours or less. I didn’t have a lot of sewing time for the space one, and lots of people to interrupt me, so I think I cut out the pattern about 2 months ago, but sewed it all yesterday.

They are so adorable!

Here they are side by side, open:

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And closed. Watermelon has red snaps, space has blue buttons. Snaps are a pain and the buttons look so cute! I love the red snaps on that mat.

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They are machine washable, too, which is required in my house. The kids love them. I made them because they are easy to squash into a suitcase and wherever we go, they have their own bed. I can fold a special blanket in them, too. They are comfy anywhere: beds, floor, couches, etc.

I used McCall’s Crafts M5604.


I think I bought it at Hancock’s Fabrics, but I imagine it is available anywhere patterns are sold. Baby/kid stuff is so fun to make.

I have these too. I hope I can tackle those someday. I have my own ideas for a superhero busy book, too…so many ideas…