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A Blogpost in Black and White.

dreamcatcher

I was wandering around the grocery store this morning. By myself, which these days is a bit of a luxury. Anyways, being by myself I had time to ponder while I wandered and suddenly a realization hit me. The kind of realization that stops you in your tracks and a very nice elderly old man has to try to reach around you to get to his nutritional shake type drinks because you are standing there like a mong. I realized that I have become one of *those* people. The people who have a fully stocked pantry. The people who never run out of mustard because as soon as they put one bottle out they pick up a new one. The people who are prepared for an emergency.

camo hatted boys

Now I’m not saying that being a prepared type of person is a bad thing to be. Because it is actually a very good thing. And I have very good reasons to want to be prepared. It is just that I never saw myself as being one of those people. I get a certain comfort and sense of security from knowing that my pantry and freezer are full, that every year I do my best to preserve what I can. It is a nice to know that even if for whatever reason we aren’t able to purchase groceries, we don’t have to. We have what we need to last us quite a while. And right now if something comes on sale I will keep stocking up. Especially on Cadbury Mini Eggs. They are on the shelves right now you know, we are on our third bag :)

dog in gray

I like knowing that I have my crafty skills. I know that if push comes to shove I can crochet a blanket, knit a sweater or sew a pair of pants. I also have a rather large stockpile of the materials needed to do these things. Plus I like to do it, and I love to see my family decked out in handmade or wrapped up in one of my blankets. And I like pretty decorative things, because who doesn’t.

cat in gray

It also bothers me that I have one area where I know that I definitely lack the skills that I want to have, which is gardening. I am working on it though. This year I am planning to start with some small steps. Last year I was all about going big with the garden and it really didn’t work for me. At all. It was a pretty spectacular fail.

cookies

So what are you? Are you all out prepared for the end of civilization as we know it? Or do you go about your day, buying only what you need? Is it a space thing? If you have enough room to start collecting food do you just do it because you can? Is it something to do with small children and never wanting them to go without? Or is it just something you do for no reason? Is having too much something to be avoided? I really want to know because this seems to be this totally unexpected trait that I have found in myself and I am curious.

driftwood

I have watched/listened to Frozen about 4 times in the last 24 hours. Who knew boys would like it so much too, I mostly bought it for myself.

Tonight dinner menu is ham, scalloped potatoes and caesar salad. Yum!

Still working away on joining Raidens blanket.

There is mud EVERYWHERE and today was not a good day to wear new shoes.

I have a giant pile of denim waiting to be cut up into squares and I can’t wait to dig into it, but I seem to have misplaces my quilting ruler. Have you seen it?

Alexis, your package is on its way.

Banana-oat-chocolate chip-fruit cookies. Need I say more? 3 bananas from the freezer used up!

Don’t look to closely at this next picture or you will see evidence of my terrible photoshop skills.

colors in the yard copy

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Random snapshots from the clean corners of my home.

Canyon Sign

Yarn Basket

Spoons

Chickens

Fruit Basket

Bench!

Blankets

Sulley

The other day I was driving through town and in front of the used furniture store I saw something that I just had to have. The next day after persuading my friend who has a hatchback and flippy down seats to accompany me to the store I went to check it out. The item that I had in mind was right out in front of the store again but the price tag and I did not agree. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a well used item, with a few tears and paint stains, so I went to barter. The lady in the store agreed with my that the price was much to high and upon checking her notes she saw that the marked price was what the price would be after the volunteers had reupholstered this particular item. What?!?! So we agreed upon a price that was half of the price on the tag and much closer to the amount of money that I had in my wallet. And into the back of my friends car we loaded my brand new turquoise bench.

This bench, I decided, was to become the centerpiece, so to speak, of my boot room/entryway/ mud room/whatever you call it. For this post lets go with entryway, because that sounds much less booty or muddy. At the point in time that I brought my bench home the centerpiece of my entryway happened to be my deepfreeze. I made myself a mental to do list and got to it. The deepfreeze was emptied, defrosted, cleaned and moved to the laundry room, where it is now doing double duty as a wonderful folding table. The entry way was swept, mopped, the bench was installed in its new place of honor, and I called it done.

Except that looking at my new bench in my old entryway I started thinking. My house is my home and I love it dearly. My family is here, my stuff is here, my life is here and it definitely feels like my home, but does is look like my home? When we bought this place I had a million plans for making it ours, but none of that has really happened. I guess once you move in to a place and start living there somehow you just start to concentrate on making things work more than making things better. Back to the entryway. The weird horse shoe and lantern light fixture, the log cabin looking cupboards, the tacky floral wallpaper, none of it is really me. Inspired, I made a resolution. One room at a time I am going to make my house me. Starting with the entry way and working my way through the house. Nothing huge, but things like tearing down wallpaper, painting, replacing light fixtures, making new curtains… all of these things I can easily do. And I will.

So between cooking, cleaning, working, crafting, snuggling I have now added renovating to my mommy to do list. Like I needed anything else, but I think that this is going to make me very happy. And since I am feeling quite happy I am thinking that my next post might be a giveaway post, so check back!

 

 

Pinterest…FAIL

pot'o'wash

So I am sure that I am not the only one who is addicted to pinterest. And who wouldn’t be? Pinterest is awesome. Extremely addicting. Especially when you have it on your phone. You can take it with you anywhere! I have made a point lately to try and replace a lot of our household products with diy stuff that I have found on…wait for it…PINTEREST! It cuts out a lot of chemicals, most of the stuff isn’t too hard or time consuming, the ingredients are usually pretty easy to find and best of all it is a great way to save money. Raise your hand if you like to save money!

All of the pins I have tried so far have worked out great! Steam clean the microwave with water and vinegar? Yup. *here* Cleaning the bathtub with an awesome vinegar/baking soda/dawn combo? You should see that baby shine! *here* Homemade dishwasher detergent? Like a boss. *here* But today I tried something new. Something different. Today I tried to make bodywash out of a bar of soap.

Okay, that sounds super simple. One key point is that I did not have any liquid glycerine on hand, nor did I want to go buy any. So I researched a bunch of recipes and they are all pretty much the same. Water + grated soap + liquid glycerine + heating then cooling = lovely body wash. I had this thought that if I used not very much water with a lot of soap it would work out.  It did not. I do not reccomend that you try it.

Bar of Soap

I was so enthusiastic. Look at that picture up there, all focused object on a white background and whatnot. I was going to photograph this process. I was going to document it. It was going to be epic.

Grated Soap

So I pretty much filled the two bottles that  I had with water and dumped them in a pot so that I could make just the right amount. I grated up this yummy smelling bar of soap that my little sister got me for Christmas. I risked dropping the shavings all over the house as I carried them on a piece of paper to the living room so I could put them on a giant cat tower toy to take a picture of them. Follow the light, right? I added an extra dwollop of coconut oil to the pot for moisturizing power. I cooked it over low heat until everything was dissolved. I took the pot outside so that it would cool faster. I don’t really have that much patience with stuff like this and it was about -5ºC, so it was really like putting it in a giant freezer. I waited and made some pretty labels for the bottle that was going to be hand soap. I waited some more and then went outside to discover that I had not made body wash. I had made soapy orangy water.

Epic Fail. Take a depressing picture on a background of black sadness. Use flash. No body wash for me.

Bottled

For now my soapy water is going to hang out in its bottles until I get a chance to pick up some glycerine and try to make this stuff set a bit.

Have you ever failed at pinterest?

Live. Love. Life. Blog?

Snow Tree

Rainbow

Sandy Beach

Green Forest

Gloomy Lake

Cloudy Mountain

So. Lately I have been thinking a lot about where I am going with this blog. Obviously I want people to read it, otherwise what is the point of writing it really, but I am not sure who is reading it. I am to much of a shy person to post comments on other peoples blogs and on forums and such to direct people to my blog. I did that for a while and it did seem to work. I definitely had more visitors to my site at the time, but I kind of fell away from blogging and commenting and I just can’t seem to bring myself to start doing that again. I would like people to read my blog because somehow they found their way to my little corner of the internet and liked what they saw.

Another question I am mulling over is what kind of blog this will be? I obviously started it as a craft blog, but I find that a blog that is all about *look at what I made*look at what I’m making*look at what I am going to make next* is not really for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read those kinds of blogs, but for them to be successful you really need to be creating at a much faster pace than what I usually do. Sometimes life works out that I don’t pick up a project for a week at a time. I might be too busy or *as in the case of my current project* I might be avoiding a certain step that I don’t like but need to finish before I can move on. *cough weaving in ends cough*

My very favorite type of blogs to read are crafters who are life bloggers. Blogs that show peoples everyday life. They use their pictures and words to convey through internet particles *no such thing, I know* their love for their life, their craft, their home, their food, their pets…just everything. And I know that it while reading about their lives I am looking through blog colored lenses, but sometimes that is nice. I know that my life isn’t perfect. My floors need to be swept and mopped, I have a large bookshelf in the middle of my dining room that I need to find a place for, and you can’t actually see the floor of the boys bedroom right now. True story. But if I want to take a moment to see what the sun looks like shining through the leaves of my plants, or how yummy my dinner looks, or how much I am in love with the new project that I just started, then why shouldn’t I? Any why shouldn’t they? If everyone took a moment to appreciate and document the bits of beauty around them before getting to work on all the dull everyday stuff wouldn’t the world be a better place?

So…I kind of went all philosophical for a moment there, but that is what I am going to try to do. Live my life, love my life and *hopefully* blog my life.

What kind of blog do you have? How do you get people to visit it? How do you present yourself to the world through your blog?

Note: All the pictures in this post were taken within 50km of my home. They were all taken by me and are all unedited except for  being resized so that they are more internet friendly.

Ramblings ♥

To start with, I have been shamefully neglectful lately, not just about writing in my blog, but I haven’t been commenting on any either.  In case you are wondering I have been quietly watching.  That is just the kind of place I have been in lately.

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This was my view of the sunset from my front porch a couple weeks ago.  Beautiful isn’t it?  We are having somewhat of a debate if we should cut down that willow tree right now.  Looking at this picture I think I have just made up my mind up, it’s staying!

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Aren’t these the prettiest little leaves?  The previous owners of our house were quite old and weren’t able to keep up with all the yard work, and I thought I was going to have to dig this shrub up, there was so much dead wood.  But me and a pair of pruning shears persevered and after cutting away about twice as much as was left I saved it! It looks so happy now :)

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I built up the rock wall around my flower bed, got rid of a few plants and added a few.

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Grape Hyacinths… Sylas loves to pull these apart.  Well he loves to pull any flower apart really, but these are especially fun!  I do try to keep him out of the flowerbeds and am teaching him not to touch the flowers, but it is an uphill road.

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My Bleeding Heart is going to bloom soon! This is one of my favorite flowers, and I have 3 plants now!

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Tulips in my backyard flowerbed.  They are all yellow and blooming except for one lonely red tulip which you can see is still a bud.  I am amazed that these have escaped the deer, I guess Ariel is earning her dog food.

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The cherry trees have just starting to bloom, it is only three more weeks until the Blossom Festival here.  Here’s a fun fact: The main industries of the Creston Valley include agriculture, forestry and Kokanee beer. lol.

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Also, the gnomes have come out of hibernation.  This little fellow lives in my willow tree.  If I could live in any kind of tree I think it would be a weeping willow. What about you?

Wow.  I really am rambling today.  And I know what you are thinking, this is supposed to be a craft blog, not a gardening blog.  But truth be told, I have been so busy with yard work that I haven’t had much time for craftiness.

I bought a new sewing desk and a big plastic set of drawers to store yarn in so I can get my sewing/crafting/laundry room in order and be somewhat more productive, but it takes time.

I did finish up my Granny Zig-Zag Scarf and I am quite pleased with it.  It makes me think of lilacs. Here it is!

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We just got a new picnic table and I ended up with stain for it that I really didn’t want, I just wasn’t paying attention in the store. I do have to say it is great for photographing though!

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This turned out to be about seven feet long!  It is cosy, but since spring has finally decided to arrive I think it is just going to have to look pretty until next fall when it can start being useful.

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Attempt at an action shot.  I hate pictures of me though so I cropped most of it out and this is all you get.

Well that is enough for today I suppose… Right now it is absolutely gorgeous out here, but it was so yucky this morning that we lit our woodstove!  What’s the weather like where you are?

I Knit A Sweater!

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I am feeling quite proud of myself! And Raiden loves it! This was another test knit and I am really happy that I did it.  I like this pattern so much that I am thinking about casting on another one for Sylas right away.  The only thing is that I am not sure if I got the button placement quite right, or else it needs a snap or something in the space between the top button and the first button spike.  It gapes a little bit.

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He is really not too pleased about posing for these pictures, all he really wants to do is drive around in his John Deere Gator.  Just seconds before I took this picture his little brother almost drove it into the ditch and he figured that he needed to take over.

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We have been working like crazy around the house.  Raking, pruning, weeding, burning, tilling, planning, and we have finally unpacked a bunch of stuff from the garage that should have been  brought into the house a long time ago.

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All we really have left to do is deal with our vegetable garden….which we may be somewhat avoiding.  We probably won’t get to it next weekend, since it is Easter and all, but the weekend after I hope.  We just picked up a bunch of seed starter trays so we can start growing tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and I don’t know what else.  We also would like to find time to have a garage sale at some point.

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I think one of my favorite parts of this sweater is the mismatched buttons.  When Raiden told me that he wanted to use this as a work sweater I cringed, and then decided that there was know way I was going out to buy buttons for it, so he gets what he gets.

Tomorrow I have to start washing a bunch of the stuff that we unpacked, it is pretty musty.  Any big plans??

Once again the boys are in bed and I have a bit of time to myself until Jason comes home from work, so here I am!  Too bad I couldn’t get this nice little time frame to myself every night,  but I think I might run out of things to say.  Today is Jasons last day of work, break up starts tomorrow, so I have 2 months or so of bossing him around over stuff I want done around the house.  First off we need to get our yard in shape for Easter.  When we bought this place we absolutely loved the yard and all the trees, but we didn’t think of all the raking that would be involved.  It was July, what can I say? So when fall came we were completely unprepared.  Now all the snow is melted and we can see the leaves again :S So we need to get to work and get that cleaned up so we can have our first easter egg hunt here.

We also need to get our garden ready to plant.  And at some point I will need to attempt to trim some fruit trees.  Another thing we love about our yard is all the wonderful fruit it provides us.  But now I really need to educate myself about fruit.  We have apples, cherries, plums, pears, raspberries, blackberries red and black currants and a huge strawberry patch, and I really don’t know how to maintain any of it.  Oh well, I suppose I will learn.  That is what the internet is for, and I saw that our community college offers a short course on the care and maintenance of different fruit trees that grow in the valley, that might be something that I have to look into.

Anyways….on to the fun stuff!

Finished

I am very pleased to present you with my mandala, painted canvas and all.  Looking at this picture I think my backdrop could have done with a bit more blending, but it really doesnt look quite so blotchy in real life. I wanted something that would really make the colors of the mandala pop, and I think that red-orange-yellow really does the trick. It now has a happy home hanging on my bedroom wall, but no picture of that because I have the ugliest bedroom ever.  Seriously.  Think wood panneling, floral wallpaper accents and scallopped wooden trim. Ugh.

I haven’t been the greatest about updating my In A Spin lately, but here are the last 3 blocks.

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Block 17

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Block 18

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Block 19

Well… my knitting is calling me, so have a great night!

 

 

Where have I been?

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This is where I have been.  In every moment when I have not been required to cook, clean, or cuddle…..or work *but that doesn ‘t fit into my alliteration* I have been madly crocheting away to finish my October Leaves Shawl.  And I do have to say that I am quite pleased with myself about this one.  Me and the boys are spending the weekend in Nakusp and this shawl was a gift for my Auntie who lives there….or here, since Nakusp is where I am at the moment…. The shawl was finished in time for the test deadline, and in time to be wrapped and gifted.  It was a little painful giving this away, I really do love it, but give it away I did, and my auntie loves it too!  And a few more beauty shots.

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Try taking a picture of a shawl named October Leaves in January…..it is a bit tough to get the mood right.

What else have I been up to?  In A Spin of course!

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Block 10

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Block 11

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I got an awesome china cabinet for only $75 so finally some of the boxes of pretties in my garage can be unpacked.  Facebook buy and sell sites, they are the best.  Jason says I need to stop buying stuff online, but I keep finding such great deals, and it’s all local stuff so no shipping and waiting, just bring cash and take it home, so how am I supossed to stop?  It is highly addicting.

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I bought some tulips to bring some spring into my house, since I took this picture they have already lost all their petals, so I guess I will have to find some new flowers where I get home.

I have started knitting.  Half a dishcloth to be exact.  In the spirit of knitting and stashbusting in the new year, I have a huge ball of worsted cotton in a colorway called Key Lime Pie *which is a lot bit awesome!* and a couple of small balls of blue and I am pretty much going to knit dishcloths until they are all gone.  I figure it is just like making large swatches and I can get myself accustomed to the motions of knitting and experiment a bit while I am at it.  Because dishcloths are the one thing that you really can screw up and they can still be totally useful.

I have also started on my baby blanket based on the Pop Blanket,  and when I have more than one square completed I will definatly post some pictures of it.

I hope everyone has a most wonderful weekend!

 

It’s a little late but….

…here is my 2012

February – We were in a bad car accident, Jasons elbow was broken and he needed surgery, we totalled off the car, but thankfully the boys weren’t hurt at all…go car seats!!!

April – Got a new job.

May – Found out that I like my new job.

July – Bought our first house.

September – Raiden started Kindergarten.

November – Started this blog!!

So thats about it for the big events of 2012, on to 2013.

2013 is the year of the stash bust.  Seriously.  I am going to go through all of my fabric, yarn and other crafty stuff and everything that I am just never going to use I am either going to put in a garage sale, give away or donate to gleaners.  And then whenever I want to start a new project I am going to seriously contemplate if I can make it from what I already have, and if not, do I really need to make it.

I am also determined to overcome my fear of knitting this year.  It is totally unreasonable, if I can teach myself to crochet and don’t eve blink at trying the most complicated patterns, then why can’t I do that for knitting.

We are also going to try doing a 52 weeks savings plan, where you put aside $1 in week one, $2  in week two and so on…if you do it right you will end up with $1378.00 at the end of the year.  So we are going to try and put what we save into new windows for our house.

Alright then, on to the fun stuff…..

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I am using up my scraps to make something super scraptacular.  I think it shall remain mysterious for now.

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A scarf I made from this pattern.  In the first picture it is kind of hard to see but it shows the different patterns of the front and back.  The light here is not nice today.   I made this using up two balls of Patons Canadiana, and so the second picture is trying to show that the thing ended up being almost 9 feet long.  Therefore it is draped seductively around a broom.

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I  made a pair of fingerless gloves from my Lionbrand Homespun that I won last month.  I love how they turned out but I must say that Homespun is a pain to crochet with, and if you have to have to rip it out for any reason it’s pretty much time to cry.

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From the leftovers I am making some some stars from the Teeny Tiny Stars pattern from Attic 24.  These are going to be a garland to go over my window above my kitchen sink.  I had lights up there over Christmas and when I took them down it just looked so sad and lonely that I just have to make something to put up there.

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In A Spin Block 9 for anyone that is interested.  We have been given the instructions for joining if we want to use them, but I think I am going to wait until all the blocks are finished and see how they fit together.

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My shawl that I am testing the pattern for.  I do love how this is turning out, but I need to get working on it,  as soon as I am done posting here that is exactly what I am going to do.  I get frustrated working with lace weight yarn, but you just can’t argue with the beautiful results.  I guess that is why somehow I keep ending up buying it, and then finding just the right pattern for it, and then cursing at it all the while I am working on it.

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My sister in laws boyfriend make this stool for the boys for Christmas and they painted it! And then they painted themselves….and the bath turned green…and it was a whole thing.  I just have to put a layer of sealer on this and it is good to go.  It’s actually pretty cool, the top step flips up and it has a little storage area in it for all those treasures that little boys seem to have.

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I got these 2 frames for free on a local buy and sell site on Facebook.  They are about 4 and a half feet tall and 2 feet wide.  I have some plans for them.  I am just deciding what is the best one.  Right now I am leaning towards making them into padded headboards for above my bed.

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Got my Knitpicks order in yesterday! 23 balls of CotLin – 10 in Swan and 13 in various colors, and a copy of Crochet Boutique.  Yay.  I have just flipped throught the book and I already want to make half the stuff thats in it, but I think I am going to go for the Button Capelet first, just because I have some Extra Chunky yarn that I want to use up, and GO STASHBUST!

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We went down to the States yesterday and went to Micheals to use up a couple of gift cards that I got for my birthday.  Walked out with a bunch of assorted felt (the tie die is my favorite), a bird embroidery kit (because none of the cross stitch kits caught my eye, so time to learn how to embroider), a package of origami paper (I am going to teach myself to make some super cool stars…I hope), a weekly planner (I’m gonna sew a cover for this, although I do heart lime green), a copy of How to Make Money Using Etsy by Timothy Adam (self explanatory, I think) and an I Taught Myself Knitting Package (I am NOT scared of it…you are!) So YaY for a great haul.  Normally I would go straight to beading supplies and yarn,  but since I had a gift card I decided to get a bunch of random stuff that I have been wanting to try for a while.  It was fun.  Jason hated chasing the boys around for like an hour in the store, but thats ok.

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Remember this pattern.  Well here is the yarn for it.  Lion Brand Amazing in Glacier Bay and Caron One Pound Baby in White.  Glacier Bay wasn’t my first color choice, it was Jasons, but since the blanket it going to be for his brothers baby, I thought I would let him pick.

Well I think thats all for today.  This feels like a super long post.  I will leave you with the view from my front step.

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It’s Winter.