Sunday, May 31, 2009


Thanks for the dolly love, y'all!
In answer to Donna's question, the doll is a discontinued Vogue Pattern.
I can look up the number, but anyway it is really well designed, and I am glad I got one before they were all gone.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Doll-mania continues

I made a doll for the Hug-a-Bugs, really me, last year when I participated in a doll clothes swap with the wonderful ladies at Sugar City Journal.
The swap was for clothing to fit an 18" doll like an American Girl, but I didn't have one, so I made one.
Anyway, I was going through the dollies around Christmastime and I found this doll, her name was Siobhan, and thought to myself, "She never plays with this one, maybe I should just donate it to the shelter, I can always make another one." So I did.
Well, as you can imagine, though it did take a little while, when she saw that it was gone, all I have heard from the Elder is "Where is Siobhan? Why did you give her away?"

So the day before yesterday I started making a new Siobhan.This morning we stuffed her, the Younger Hug-a-Bug and myself, and he proved an excellent assistant.

Take a bow new Siobhan -

would anyone out there be up for a new Doll Clothes Swap?
I had a ton of fun last time.
Leave me a comment here or email me at bandjontheriver(at)msn(dot)com if you would like to join in.

Woo Hoo! I do love swaps.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

buncha knitting and sewing and stuff

I spent a lot of the past week at the sewing machine.
I made myself a new shirt, made the Elder Hug-a-Bug a skirt, and just finished a doll for the CraftHope project.Here she is next to her friend Chloe.

The mailing deadline for CraftHope is June 13, but they have received so many dolls that I don't know if this one will get to be used right away.
I am a procrastinator, as I have stated often before, and even though making a doll only takes a couple of days, I waited for over a month to even get started.
For her body I used my favorite shirt that I couldn't wear anymore because it developed a large hole in the front. I was glad to be able to reuse it, it is a nice soft cotton.
I also finished one sleeve for my Elizabeth I sweater this weekend.
This is some sloooow knitting, but I am sure that I will love wearing it if it ever gets done.

Even with all that craftiness, I was still able to fill my belly with lots of food.
We spent Memorial Day lunch at my parents' house having some delicious wieners and super good pie that was gone before I thought about taking a picture of it.
(Can you see how the hot dog fairly glows with yumminess?)
The kids had a super time, and besides spending time with my parents, I got to see my brother and his family, it was a good day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a day

Today I had a rare Sunday afternoon off.
My lovely husband took the opportunity to plan a family outing to the woods.
Our destination was William O'Brien State Park, about an hour north of Saint Paul, and it was beautiful there.
There were well-maintained trails, and we saw 3 caterpillars, the kids were ecstatic.
The columbine are in bloom, and they were everywhereThere is a small lake to the side of the Saint Croix river where the kids took a little dip.
Next time we will remember to bring swim suits.
Truly a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lunch bag

Some may call this jumping the gun, but I call it being prepared.
The Elder Hug-a-Bug will be in full day kindergarten in the fall and she will eat lunch at school.
I don't relish the idea of buying school lunch every day, so I made her a cool lunch bag to entice her to bring her lunch.

She is just learning piano, and she really loves it, so when I saw this awesome fabric at Treadle, I knew what had to happen. Honestly, I was powerless against it.
Look at the little animals, they are singing and playing piano and there are sweet phrases all over.

This pattern is from Sewing Green by Betz White.
The bag is lined in vinyl-coated cotton for easy cleaning, and it comes together really fast.

When she saw it finished, she said "I want to try it out!"

So, it looks like it's pb&h and an apple for dinner tonight.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We had a most eventful week.
My lovely hubby took Thursday and Friday off last week, and we filled every minute with fun.

Thursday we took the kids to their first Twins game.
We had some pretty sweet seats on the lower deck, 3rd base side.
I didn't bring my camera, as I didn't want to lose it, so you'll have to imagine our great view.
The kids really enjoyed the whole experience. Especially the cotton candy, cracker jack, hot dog, snow cone, and chips.
Just so the portion control police don't come to get me, we did share most of that between the four of us.
We taught them "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and they really enjoyed the 7th inning stretch standing up with everyone and singing out at the top of their lungs.

We also took the kids to see Monsters vs. Aliens.
They loved it, and we had the theatre practically to ourselves since the movie has been out for weeks. The Younger Hug-a-Bug could ask all the loud questions he liked and I didn't worry about bothering the other patrons, as they were one other mom and her 2-year-old.

The biggest news is: Thursday, while I was at work, the Elder Hug-a-Bug mastered riding her bike without training wheels!
She is overjoyed, and so are we all.
We took a family bike ride to the park and had races around the walking track. Then off to swing and dig.
Super fun.
The Elder also mastered climbing trees this week.
Whew, kind of a long post, but that is what we've been up to.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spinning Update

Here's the thing,
I think I love spinning.The hank on the left is what I spun the other night, and then I brought the stuff that I had on hand from a 6 year-old purchase to the park and spun up some more.
I did it at the Park! while I was watching the kids.
I probably only have about 50 yards of the blue, I will knit up a swatch today to see what it looks like.

In other news, the shade garden is coming along quite well.
And this-is a girl determined to bike without training wheels.
So there is spinning excitement all around here.

Enjoy the sunny breaks today,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh Dear

As I said, my dear friend Nancy has opened a door to a new craft.
Well, I thought I'll just try it again.
I bought a drop spindle and some wool web when I was pregnant with the Elder Hug-a-Bug, that's 6 years ago, and never had much luck with it.
The lady I bought it from was really good at spinning, and she showed how she did it and I just kept getting farther and farther away from the spindle, and the yarn was everywhere and I hated doing it.
So N told me to go on YouTube and look up videos of people spinning and I did and this is what I did when I should have been sleeping last night.

I could see last night that the yarn was becoming less consistent and so I stopped, but I could get hooked on this, I tell you what.

Time to take the kids to school,
Hope you had a terrific Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shepherds Harvest

Yesterday and today the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival was and is going on at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
My friend Nancy and I went with our families. We spent the morning looking at sheep and goats and stock dogs, but, my friends, it was COLD there.
So when the rams and lambs got too cold and hungry, we went home.
Then Nancy and I went back for seconds after naps were established.
Nancy is a spinner. She is doing her best to suck me in to her twisty world, and I got some beautiful wool/silk roving.
I also bought two basket kits;

The lovely and talented Elder Hug-a-Bug wanted to try her hand at some basket weaving and did a couple of rows. She really enjoyed it, and I think we can do the next basket entirely as a team.
The basket ended up a little lop-sided, but that's o.k. with me.
It was also supposed to have a handle, but the cane broke, so an open table-top basket it is.
I don't know if I said this before, but I am not very good at making baskets.
I just like to do it.

So, I think it was a very successful day at the festival, and I can't wait for next year!

In other news, the front of the Elizabeth I is completed. I have one sleeve cast on, but it isn't very far along.

The front needs a good blocking, as you can see, but I am really getting excited about this sweater.
My next conundrum is whether to make the back the same as the front, as instructed, or make a plain back which will be easier and faster.

Have a wonderful Mother's day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring Storm Season

It's upon us.
This afternoon while we were getting dumped on with rain, the Elder Hug-a-Bug says to my husband:
"Ice falling from the sky!?! You've got to be kidding me!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tra La

How do I love May!
The official start of the gardening season!

I decided that this was the year to take the only part of our yard that gets any sun and turn it into a veggie/herb/berry patch.

I spent most of the day moving the grass from here
(This Robin was pretty jazzed about all of the worms I was bringing up)
To here
This part of the yard is one of the shadier places, and we haven't had much luck with grass seed.
Most of the transplanted stuff is Creeping Charlie, or Charlie Creepers as the Hug-a-Bugs say, and I wonder if it will work better here than the seed. (I know, it's a weed, but I like it. No maintenance and there are pretty purple flowers)
If the transplant doesn't work we don't lose much since it was just a big patch of dirt before anyway.

Here is a before from last summer. And here is the after.Note that the Cozy Coupe is in the same 'time out' place, having caused one too many disagreements.

So far I have planted onions, tomatoes and some herbs.
I didn't do any veggies or herbs last year and I really missed running out to the garden for fresh thyme or basil.

I am off to read some gardening books,
I hope that you have had spectacular weather today too!

Friday, May 1, 2009

More green knitting, etc.

First of all, can I just say how irritated I am with my DVR?
We are always putting the kids to bed during Lost, and so we always tape it.
Shouldn't the DVR know that a show is going to run late? Shouldn't it know that a major character, even one I don't particularly care about, getting shot is something that the viewer would like to see?
Oh well, it's a good thing I have you fine folks to keep me in the know.

Second, I have been off Dairy for over two months now and today I tried baking some cookies with vegan butter.
They're o.k. there is a little aftertaste that I can't quite identify, but I like cookies, so all in all I am pleased.

Third, it is May!!! I almost missed this fact, and faithful readers will recall that I have one May Day ritual, I crank up the Lusty Month of May from Camelot and sing along at the top of my voice.


It is a little windy today, but that didn't stop the Hug-a-Bugs from having a super time at the park this morning.

And fourth, I began a new knitting project on Tuesday.
It's the Elizabeth I pattern from Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses book.

The yarn is Thirteen Mile Sportweight in color Moss.
I am really loving this knitting.
It's mostly stockinette, so it's pretty mindless, which I love.

Enjoy May Day!

Last concert of the Season

Caritas Vocal Ensemble is giving their last concert of the season this evening at 7:30.
The concert is at 1st Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights.
This concert is to benefit the Arc Retreat Center.
Please come and support this worthy cause, and come enjoy some beautiful music.
We are doing a super fun program, and we'd love to see each and every one of you out there.