kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hooking with the Blue and Gray

Nothing exciting has happened here for quite a while.  It rains, we sit at home!  Thus there isn't much to post about.

On Monday the sun was shining and it was a glorious day for a road trip down through the Adams county orchards to Biglerville where the Blue and Gray Rug Hookers meet.  When I first walked in there didn't seem to be much of a crowd, but by lunch time the room had filled up.

Of course we had 'show and tell'!  This beauty was hooked by Marian who as you can see is an expert hooker.

Here is a closeup of some of the center portion.

She just creates one masterpiece after another.  This is what she's working on now.

Doris is another of our expert hookers.  Usually she works in the very fine wool strips, but her primitive lion is done in 8 and 8.5 with some smaller cuts used for detain in the face.  Isn't he a joy!?

Here is Marian M. with her fall rug featuring pumpkins, leaves and a cute squirrel.

I think Brenda hooked this cute little guy.  If I'm wrong about whose rug this is, I'm sorry!

Here is Joan, hiding under her new wig!  Her rug is a large abstract that is actually a hugely enlarged FINGER PRINT!  It really makes a fun rug.

Violet is working on this lovely old-fashioned pictorial.

I especially liked the effect of the tiny little flowers.

Violet also brings some of her luscious hand dyed wools for us to enjoy (and purchase) each month.  It's very hard not to leave without at least one special piece!

There were so many rugs that I did not get to photograph, all of them unique and interesting.  I just couldn't resist this primitive kitty!

Our featured Hooker of the Month was Naomi.  This dear lady has been hooking since before I was born and so you know how long that's been!!!  Most of her rugs, and there have been MANY, have gone to family members and friends.  Here is just a small sampling of all her work.

Thank you, Naomi, for sharing your wonderful rugs with us!

At the moment I'm rugless.  On Sunday Joan is hosting her annual 'Fill the Truck' hooking event in support of her local animal shelter. Hopefully we'll get a great group of hookers and lots of donations for the critters. And I need to get a rug drawn off so I have something to work on.  Though I guess in a pinch, I could just sit and talk!!!  Haha!

I have not been totally idle.  I have tried making the mango mousse cake with some success.  This is not the pretty version, only trying to get the flavors right at this attempt.

Here's what I did.  I used a regular yellow cake mix and added a can of coconut milk instead of the water, plus an extra half cup of sugar, mixed it up and baked as directed on the box.  The cake came out moist and with a slightly denser crumb that normal.  I did not want a crumbly cake and the coconut milk did the trick and did not add too much coconut flavor.

For the mousse, I used a bag of frozen mango, thawed and pureed in the blender.  I whipped up a pack of Dream Whip topping, but a small container of Cool Whip or about 2 cups of real whipped cream would work as well.  I used 2 packs of plain gelatin in a small saucepan with about 3/4 cups water.  Let it soften for about 5 minutes and then heat and stir till it all dissolves.  Let cool and then pour into the mango puree.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Let cool in fridge till starting to jell before putting between cake layers.

I used a 9 by 13 pan for the cake.  
NEXT TIME will be the prettier version, I hope.
 I think I'll use a springform pan and if there's excess cake batter, make cupcakes.
I'd like to cut the cake into three layers.
I may also try a different cake.  Maybe a chiffon.  Several recipes I read used pound cake.
The mousse was a little more jellified that I hoped.  Next time I'll try one envelope of gelatin.
And to make the lovely topping that I didn't bother with this time, I'll hold out about 3/4 cup of the mango puree with the gelatin in it and spread it on top of the cake.

All in all it was a successful first effort.  The flavor was good, just not as pretty as I would like.

My sweater is finished!
No, Kathy, I didn't put a label on it!  LOL!  Or buttons yet.  Haven't gotten out to get any.  And there are a few ends that need woven in, but the knitting is done....I think.
I'm still debating taking out the sleeves and making them not-so-snug.  When I started on the sleeves they were wider and I took them out and made them fit tighter.  Now I think I may want the wider sleeves after all.  The joy of knitting is that it can be ripped out and redone without any ill effects to the finished project.

I posted this picture on Ravelry and someone commented that I have no head!  I was so excited to have finished that I had to try it on right away and take a picture so I didn't take time to put my wig on.  In fact I had just gotten up in the morning and done the binding off.  So....major bedhead!

The beauty of this pattern from Cabin Fever is that it was knit from the top down and there were no seams to finish, NO sewing together!

I love this pattern and want to make another one.

Did you make it all the way to the end of this looooong post???
Maybe I should just post more often and keep them shorter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Nice to be Kneaded

We had one wonderful week of delightful weather and then the rains came.
Anyone who lives on the east coast knows how bad it was.  I hope most of you have made it through without too much damage and inconvenience.

We are lucky to live in an area where flooding seldom occurs.  We did have a nice trout stream (Zip wishes!!!) running through our front yard.

With the cooler weather, the cats have been VERY active.  The earlier hot weather had them laying low under the fans.  Now they are in high gear, running wild through the house and jumping on the furniture.  Though once in a while they do take time for some "Mommy Moments'.

Penny loves to knead on my arms while I'm sitting at the computer.  But an arm covered by clothing will NOT DO!  She will knead on my hand if it the only part uncovered.  Those little feet can do some pressing!  I've been left with bruises several times.

Look at those lovely copper eyes.  Perfect for a girl named Penny

Hiding in the trash can after we put in a clean bag.  Those eyes are looking a bit wild and excited.

Isabel had loved Deiter from the moment she came to live with us.
He wasn't sure he wanted to be friends with a pesky little female, but finally he had surrendered to her charms.  She is charming, isn't she?

 They like to lay in the sewing table and keep me company while I work.

In the evening there is the excitement of watching for moths on the window screen.  Reggie and Isabel are having a little stand-off to see who gets control of the window sill.

There are times when living with cats boggles my sanity.

I used to have a little sage green wallet.  It was small and thin and didn't hold much because it didn't need to.This was back in the days when the only cards I had to carry were my driver's license and social security number.  Way before credit cards, bonus cards and three forms of picture ID were necessary.  I hadn't seen this wallet in probably thirty years and had no idea what had become of it.  If asked, I probably would have said that I threw it out long ago.

This was laying in the middle of the living room floor yesterday morning when I came downstairs!

Where they found it, I have no idea!!!  They can't open dresser drawers.  They hadn't been to the attic.  I can not imagine where they were digging around!  It just blows my mind!

And more crazy-making, only not so mysterious.  Our faucets on the bathroom sink recently went bad beyond repair so last weekend we decided to go to Lowe's and check out the options.  We came home with a nice attractive brass set.  While Zip was taking off the old faucets, I kept hearing grumbling about how darn heavy the old sink (an antique) was.  So I finally asked if he would rather get a new pedestal sink and install it along with the new fixtures.  Another trip to Lowe's.

We got home and unpacked our purchases.  Zip sat the basin on the treadmill until he was ready to install it.  Guess what!  It fits!!!

Doesn't it look great??? 

The strip of wood along the back is to hold it tightly in place so when the 20-lb. monster jumps up he will not cause it to wobble.  It's also fastened to the wall with a sturdy bracket.  We keep a stool beside the sink to discourage him from jumping directly on the edge of the sink.  We will be painting the strip to match the wainscoting.

We also installed a Biffy Bidet on the toilet.  I've been wanting some kind of bidet device for years and have finally found this fairly inexpensive one.

And yes, after a week of using it, I love my Biffy!

In my spare time, I've been working on the sweater.  I'm below the underarm on the body and I have one sleeve finished.  It's kind of fun to work from the top down so it can be tried on for length as I go along.

No rug hooking right now, but am going to start on a project for a friend which I can't show yet and I want to do something for fall.

I'm getting tired of typing!  I think it's time for a break.
Have a good weekend everyone!