Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's That on Your Head?*

Aaaaaaah!  It's a brain slug!


An almost last minute gift for my sister-in-law.  We're going to Bath on Tuesday for a birthday boat ride.  Unfortunately, Tuesday is the only day the weather report predicts rain for Bath!   

*I still love The B-52's!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Room of Our Little Acorn's Own

It probably won't come as much of a surprise to hear that Matt and I have decided to do the baby's room in a woodland theme.  We even call my bump Ola which is the shortened version of "our little acorn" and I have the sneaking suspicion that, if we happen to have a little girl, her middle name will actually be Ola. 

Believe it or not, the choice really wasn't that obvious to us.  We had talked a little bit about the nursery and thought maybe a non-theme with bright colors would be the way to go.  Yesterday, though, I saw this wall hanging, which Dad bought for me at the Folk Festival last year, in a whole new light.  


We were going to hang it in the stairway but I suddenly could see it hanging on the closet door of our baby's room.  And the bedside table we're temporarily using as a side table in the living room for lack of a better place to put it, could be painted and a squirrel stenciled on the front (and so begins the search for acorn drawer pulls).

This morning I trolled Etsy a little bit and ordered this print from Sea Urchin Studio.

S is for Squirrel
How cute is that?!  I was tempted by H is for Hippo just because I collect hippos but, sadly, hippos do not live in the forest.  

Still, not everything is going to have a squirrel on it.  Over the years I've accumulated quite a collection of stuffed bears and I know there are at least a handful that would look great hanging out together on a shelf.  And there will be owls, foxes, birds, raccoons (which they don't have in the UK and seems really weird since the were rampant even in the suburbs in Ohio)....It might even be time to actually start and finish a project from Beth Doherty's book Amigurumi Super Happy Crochet Cute like this adorable fawn.  Oh, and maybe knit a couple more of these bears!


I also found this little creation by Green is the New Black online a few weeks ago and fell in love.

Shadow box

I already own a large shadow box but I think it's too large so I'm going to keep an eye out for a smaller one but I do know my fabric stash has plenty of backgrounds to choose from.  Unfortunately, I can think of at least one little knick knack - a little deer I had for years - that I'm pretty sure I sold at my garage sale last summer and now wish I hadn't.  I may have kept it, though...being a pack rat and all, I couldn't get rid of everything. 

I also found this amazing tree mural on Flickr this morning.

Tree mural 

Matt and I had talked about a mural once we decided on the theme but didn't want anything too involved since we rent and might not be living here too long after the baby is born.  Although this doesn't exactly look easy, it doesn't look too difficult either.  I love that the leaves are fabric pasted to heavy cardboard that she stuck to the wall with double sided tape.  

And this is just cracking the surface.  I can't wait to get started!

Mottisfont Abbey

On Thursday we braved our hayfever and took a walk around Motissfont Abbey.  It was a toss up between the abbey and Stourhead but we've already been to Stourhead several times this year so we decided to try something different.  Although I do wand to visit Stourhead here soon as the rhododendrons should be in full bloom.  

The House

The inside of the house holds as impressive art collection. Although, honestly, we were both more interested in the outdoors and didn't even make it all the way around before we found our way back out to the gardens.  That probably explains why the only photo I took inside was of a vase of flowers.


I'm currently reading Earthly Joys by Phillipa Gregory about a gardener to both James VI and Charles I in the 17th century and it's, momentarily, made me look at gardens even as simple as this in a new way.


I was a little thrilled with this up close look at a red-tailed bumble bee because we don't have these back in Ohio.  :)


As I was double checking the species name I stumbled across this article which, ironically, names Sting as a new patron for bees.  With a "name" like that....

The walled garden is already beautiful but we're looking forward to going back next month (with a picnic!) to see the roses in full bloom.


I don't know what type of flower this is but I love it!

Flower Love 

Up Close Flower Love 

As we were leaving we were lucky enough to run into Murphy the garden cat (who even has his own greeting card in the gift shop).

Murphy 2 


That was Matt's favorite part! 

Hmm, seeing the stick from Matt's ice cream bar in these two photos is making me think I need to go grab a Magnum bar from the fridge....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Acorn Update

I have another post floating around in my mind - a Hey Matt, What Does This Mean post focusing on pregnancy and baby terms - but can't quite make myself sit down to write it.   Maybe this weekend....

I had my sixteen week check up this morning.  Thankfully it was just at the doctor's office up the street because Matt had to go up to Oxford yesterday to get ready for a meeting (that was, unfortunately, canceled) today so he wasn't home.  I knew this checkup was more about making sure I was okay than anything really to do with the baby (other than hearing the heartbeat but I had Matt's iPod Nano to record that!) so I didn't feel too bad about going solo.

Until the midwife couldn't find the heartbeat (although she did think she heard a kick).  I wasn't really that worried, though, because I wasn't exactly skinny before I got pregnant so there was more than a bit of flesh between the microphone and the baby to make things difficult. 

Anyway, off to the hospital for me.  I called Matt on my walk home know how you can see a little kid trip and fall and he'll pick himself back up without a tear until he sees his mom and then you can't stop the wailing and crying?  Yeah, that's kind of what calling Matt was like (minus the wailing and pretty much the crying) although the thought of having to take a cab to the hospital had me more upset than anything (I wanted to walk which, in retrospect, was ludicrous)! 

So to make a medium sized story short, there was a little mix up when I got to the hospital and I ended up getting a bonus ultrasound!  If you haven't had a kid, that probably sounds ridiculous but, trust me, after seeing that little blob on your first scan you can't wait to see him or her again.  The heartbeat was fine and our little acorn looks fantastic (and incredibly active - I told Matt there's a future Olympian growing in there).  In fact, he or she looks even less blobby and more baby-like than at our 12 week scan.  I think, though, now I'm even more anxious for our 20 week scan here in a few weeks!

It was a rather stressful morning but it ended really well.  :) 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy 101 Awards

Kate of Lazy Kate Creates tagged me for the Happy 101 Awards (thanks again, Kate!) over,
um, a month ago and I actually started this post exactly a month
ago.  Yikes.  Since then I've managed to misplace my little Casio
camera (argh! where are you?!) which has the photos I took to finish the post
so I took a few more this afternoon and am determined to finish and post about
the things that make me happy.  You know, like actually finishing this
post.  :)

Matt - This one is pretty obvious.  I remember saying to my mom,
maybe even before Matt and I got married, that he would be The Man to be
married to while pregnant and he is.  I keep telling him he should save
some of the 'doing everything for me' (although if it weren't for him I would
forget my vitamin more often than not) for when I really can't do things for
myself so easily but I don't think he will.  Pregnancy is a good time to
be married to a squirrel!  

Our Little Acorn - Also obvious but high on the list
never-the-less.  Sure, the way that little acorn makes me feel sometimes
doesn't exactly make me happy but I've known since I was 17 that I was meant to
be a mommy and am happy to finally get to have this experience.   I
can't wait to see him or her again at our next scan here in a few (okay, four)

Going Back to Ohio* - Even the slightest little thought of this one
makes me smile!  We're going back to Ohio for my family reunion in
June!  Not only will I get to see my family and my family get to see me
showing. I hope, at least a little bit, I'll also have the chance to see Ginny
showing quite a bit and I'll be there for her baby shower.  And the food -
I'm so excited about the food!  I think we'll have to eat out every day
considering the length of the list of places I miss.  My brother and his
fiance will be up from New Orleans, too.  I haven't seen him since the
wedding and have yet to even meet my future sister-in-law.  The one night
we did a Skype with them while Mom and Dad were here, I was so prego-tired that
by the time the call actually took place, I was in bed and fast asleep. 

And, as an added bonus, Matt and I will also be able to spend our first
anniversary sitting in the shade under the tree where we were married last

My iTouch - I had no idea what an iTouch was when Matt took me
shopping for one.  Now I can't live without it.  It's a quick way to
check email and surf the web and it's also a great way to play games.  I
have an embarrassing number of apps...


This is a tower defense game called The Creeps! that Matt and play
constantly.  By strategically placing weapons like ray guns and boomerangs
you try to make sure the ghosties, vampires and other scary things (although
there are other levels with space and underwater scary things) don't get to the
scared kid hiding under the covers in the bed.  Sounds silly, I know,but
it's fun.  For some reason it recently reset our games so we're starting
all over again but neither of us really mind. 

I read an article a few weeks ago that made me realize that this little
gadget it really going to come in handy come this fall.  It'll be perfect
for those middle of the night feedings!  I can browse the internet,
Facebook and, if I get a chance, tune in to the BBC iPlayer and catch up on a
little television. 

My grey cotton yoga pants - I seriously wish I'd bought more than one
pair of these last summer at Kohls.  I'll admit I kind of spent quite a
lot of time in them before I was pregnant but now that even the jeans I have
that still fit aren't really comfortable enough for all day wear...I live in
them.  They're stretchy and comfy and will see me through many more
months, I'm sure.  Heck, yesterday I had to walk into town to return a
movie to Blockbuster and, after a few moments of deliberation and thoughts
concerning the fashion police, I just threw on a jacket and left while still
wearing my heavenly grey pants. 

Fresh flowers - Nothing cheers up a room more than fresh
flowers.  These are my first Mother's Day flowers - pretty tulips that
opened up nearly the minute I put them in front of a window full of


Lucy & Mina - My cats.  :)  One of the photos on my
missing camera was of Mina in her usual spot - sprawled in my lap (with Lucy
sometimes curled up on the couch beside us) - and, of course, for the first
time today she's nowhere to be found so a replacement photo isn't going to
happen any time soon.  I've read that animals can tell when you're
pregnant and I think Mina is one of those who can.  She's always been
cuddly but her cuddleness is in overdrive now.  She comes running from
where ever she was lurking as soon as she hears me sit down and jumps into my
lap.  Of course, this behavior could also be because I'm actually sitting
down more often....

A good book - I've had a really good run recently when it comes to
books.  I've actually been keeping a list since the beginning of the year and can't believe
that I've yet to post a link to it here.  I just started reading A
Patchwork Planet
by Anne Tyler last night.  Tyler has written two of
my very favorite books, The Accidental Tourist and Dinner at the
Homesick Restaurant
, and makes me wish her characters were real people
because I would love to have a long talk with Macon or have dinner with Ezra at
the Homesick Restaurant.  I've not had this feeling with any of her books
since but this one has potential. 

Stationary sets - Paperchase makes the best stationary sets! 
This is one I bought yesterday and I can't wait to break it out later
tonight.  We finally printed off photos of the baby from our 12 week scan
to send to my grannies and, of course, I have to include a letter.  :)


Paper, envelopes, address labels and stickers.  I love the paper
because the reverse side is always printed with a super cute design.  This
set is especially cute because the paper comes in two shades - white and brown
- and the designs are completely different.  So cute!

So I know I'm supposed to pass on this fun award by tagging ten people
but, honestly, I'm not a tagger.  It's not that there's no one out there
who makes me happy - if you're reading this, trust me, you make me happy - but
I'm just not good at knowing (beyond a handful of people) who actually reads
this blog.  But, like I said, if you're reading this, you make me happy
and I'd love to hear what makes you happy, too!

*My experience promises to be nothing like The Pretenders song.  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First Nursery Project

Ugh, I'm having such a terrible allergy day that I had to break down and take a Singulair which is something I think I've only been forced to do twice since I found out I was pregnant.  Somehow my nose is managing to be stuffy and runny at the same time and I could just about fall asleep mid-sentence but I thought  I would take a minute to post my finished mobile. 


This would have been a breeze to finish if not for the part where you have to sew all of the tiny bits together.  That tedious part slowed me down a bit but yesterday I decided I was just going to sit down and finish it off.  I'm insanely happy with the end result and am now looking through my amigurumi books with thoughts of more mobiles!

More notes on the project here.  :) 

Friday, May 7, 2010

5 Things Friday

5 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

*having a baby (duh)

*our Ohio trip this summer

*a good nights sleep

*a haircut

*Movie & Popcorn on the Couch Night

5 Things I Did Yesterday:

*washed the dishes

*watched Gilmore Girls

*baked peanut butter cookies

*had heartburn (something I do EVERYDAY)

*ate a donut

5 Things I Wish I Could Do:


*lift heavy objects

*transport through space (like they do on Star Trek)

*finish things that I start

*clean the house by twitching my nose

5 Places I’d Like to Travel To:

*any nice, warm beach


*Africa (I'd love to go on safari)

*Back to Paris with Matt!

*San Crispino's or Della Roma for gelato

5 Cute Things I've Found Online Recently:

*this felt sushi set

*this (Ravelry link) knitted sweater and the story that goes with it

*this book (so cute I own it now and can't wait to knit a dozen baby hats)

*this now defunct blog - unlikely animal friends - what could be cuter?!

*this imaginative way to use buttons (technically not "cute" per se but one of the neatest things I've seen recently

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Things & Silly Predictions

Baby burp cloths, baby blankets, baby sweaters...all things I'm currently working on for our little acorn.  And now a baby mobile for the acorn's room!


As I said over on Ravelry, I originally bought this cotton yarn to make a blanket but once I crocheted a few rows I wasn't happy with the way it looked so I frogged it and put the yarn aside, sure that I would find some other pattern eventually.

I few weeks later I found this pattern while flipping through the latest issue of Crochet Today! at WHSmith.  I don't think we're going to have any kind of theme for the baby''s room and, even if we did, this is too cute to pass up.  And it's perfect for all that brightly colored cotton yarn.  I had to order a lighter blue for the raindrops and white for the clouds but since I took this photo on Saturday I've finished the crocheting and just need to attach the rays to the sun and assemble all of the pieces into the actual mobile.  I dread sewing those rays on but I'll bet I could get at least half of them finished while watching Gilmore Girls here in about ten minutes....

So I've been speculating recently on the sex of the baby for the last couple of days. Mom and Dad were in New Orleans visiting Andy and his fiance, Elizabeth, for the jazz festival so we had a Skype chat on Saturday.  Elizabeth said that she knew from the moment my brother told her I was pregnant that we were having a boy.  That was my first instinct as well!  Since then I've also thought it was a girl (only because this Chinese Gender Calendar predicts a girl which put the thought in my mind) but now I'm back to thinking it's a boy.  I took this Old Wives Gender Predictor Test yesterday and the first page (the only one I can take as the others ask things about how you're carrying, the baby's movement, tummy shape, etc.) predicts 80% boy/20% girl.  These are all silly ways to predict the sex of the baby, of course, but it's kind of fun.  I even remember one of my great aunts dangling a wedding ring on a string over an aunt's belly to "predict" the sex - whether or not it was accurate, who knows?

We'll just have to wait until the middle of June to find out and until our little acorn arrives in November to find out for sure!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I've Got a Notion to Use the Wildcard Today

Blog week

I don't really have a favorite yarn.  I like a little bit of everything but if pressed I'd probably have to mention Malabrigo or Manos del Uruguay but not enough to write a whole blog post about it on this the last day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week so I thought I'd use the wild card and talk about knitting notions instead. 

These are my favorite notions cases (or "noodle cases" as Matt calls them since he misheard me once).

Notions Cases

My namaste case and the incredibly awesome Altoid tin case my friend Catherine made for me before I left Ohio.  I mostly use the namaste case at home and use the acorn as my little traveling case because it's perfect for carrying things such as these.

A Few Staples

Okay, the row counter doesn't fit in the case but it's still a staple.  And yes, those are the little plastic thingies that keep your loaf of bread closed there on the Super Sticky Post-Its (which also don't fit but I always carry).  The girls in my Dayton knit group used these to wind up the yarn left over from casting on which I thought was a fantastic idea.  Sure, sewing that end in after knitting a couple rows might be a little more practical but I'm one of those knitters who often ends up knitting the first row with that little piece of yarn so immediately winding it on one of these little bread thingies is incredibly helpful.  

Project Bag

No, this is not a shout out for Tesco.  It's a project bag.  A concept introduced to me by Catherine along with the Super Sticky Post-It's for keeping your place in a pattern.  I had a couple of projects floating around in my bag at knitting one night and one must have gotten tangled or something because she offered me an extra bag she had and I've used them ever since.  I have to say, though, recently I've not been so good about keeping my projects organized (or anything else in my life for that matter) but am trying to get myself back in the habit.  I can proudly say that the project I'm going to post tomorrow is indeed in it's own little bag, all together, safe and sound.

Stitch Markers

Speaking of not being very organized: I've misplaced the little bag where I keep the majority of my stitch markers but these are a few of my favorites that always seem to be close at hand.  

And, finally, some of my very favorite knitting tools: my Knit Pro Symfonie Interchangeable Needle Set.

Knit Pro

Matt got this set for me for Christmas and I pimped it out with some extra needles, cables, cable extenders and those little discs which you would put on a cable to let you know what needle size you were using if you needed to take the needles off for another project.  If I take the needles off a project there's a good chance I won't be coming back to it for a loooong time so those have come in handy.  The ruler didn't actually come with the kit - it's one Squiblet gave me after I embarrassed myself at a yarn shop by know the US size of a needle I needed but not the metric size...which is what they use here.  The only downside to the Symfonie needles is that the sizes that are painted on them rubs off after about one use so keeping this in my kit makes sure I don't end up saying, "I think this is a six...."

So that's it for Knit & Crochet Blog Week.  I'm a little disappointed in myself because I started out gangbusters but quickly lost momentum although, lately, that's pretty much been the way most things go with me.  I'm now in my second trimester - the "easy trimester" - and am definitely reaping the benefits everyone talks about (I can stay up until eleven or even - gasp - later which is something I couldn't say a month ago) but I seem to be a little moodier and that can swing pretty quickly from cranky to crying.  Sigh.

If you'd like to read more wild cards, click this link.  If you'd like to read about favorite yarns, click here.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Dear Boy...

JayneThis Jayne Hat is the first knitting project I completed after learning to crochet and kind of abandoning knitting for about a year.  I purchased this awesome kit from Heather Hill.  I cannot stress how cool the kit was! The envelope came stamped with Serenity themed stamps, as if it had traveled from Ma Cobb to me just as Jayne's original hat traveled.  The pattern came in sleeve protectors - nice! - and included the letter Ma Cobb sent to Jayne with the hat in the Firefly episode, "The Message".  And not only did it come with a handy premade pom pom but she also included stitch markers.  This designer thought of everything.  The colors were dead on and the Lamb's Pride was a dream to knit with - I have no idea why I've never used it since. 

This is my go to hat when it's really cold outside - especially if it's snowing.  It's comfy and crazy warm.  I get lots of comments but not once has anyone ever actually recognized it as Jayne's hat. 

This was taken in Ohio in January of 2009 when we had record amounts of snow.  Matt was visiting hence the silly "taking a picture of someone taking a picture" picture. 

Matt's Visit 009

And to prove that it really is my go to snow hat - another snowy photo.  This one was taken in front of the cathedral here in Salisbury this past January.  


I love this hat and will never be too old to wear it.  :)

Blog week 

Click this link if you'd like to read other Knit & Crochet Blog Week entries for day six.

Tags: knitcroblo6