Amazing Leg Warmers

So, there’s something you have to know about me.

I love yarn.

Originally, I started this blog because I thought I was going to talk about mostly yarn things. Obviously that hasn’t been the case yet…too many mouse stories I suppose. But just you wait because I have been a knitting fiend the past few weeks, and the newly-formed “knit” category should fill up rather quickly.

I get Lion Brand Yarn weekly newsletters (I told you, I love yarn) and they were showing off this fabulous new self-striping yarn called “Amazing.” I had to have it and ordered a few skeins online.  These leg warmers were the first thing I made.

That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by!

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Thanksgivings

Gosh, I think it’s been over 2 weeks since I last posted. I don’t know where the time has gone! Don’t you worry though, I have new things made and ready to blogged about it!

The past two weekends have been filled with Thanksgiving Festivities. The week before Thanksgiving, Brandon and I headed to Toledo for an unofficial thanksgiving and for a beer tasting of my parents’ first home brew, and I have to say it was very good! Looking forward to their next batches.

Brandon took a few pics of the occasion, but I like this one the best because of how adorable my nephew looks standing in the circle just being a little man. Also if you look to the far right you’ll see the bird fabric back in new form. ( Stay tuned for a future blog post on that )

For the actual Thanksgiving holiday we traveled to West Virginia to spend time with Brandon’s family and indulge in three (yes, three) delicious holiday meals.

I'm amazed at how much the world can change in a short 4+ hour drive

I truly enjoyed the holiday this year and am so thankful for such wonderful family to share it with.

I can’t forget about Lucy. She definitely found time for some r & r this past weekend:

That about sums up my thanksgiving holiday! Hope yours was just as delicious and enjoyable!

Mousing Adventures: time to get serious

I definitely had intentions of doing more than one post this week, but my evenings have been filled to the brim trying to de-mouse our house.

First things first, Francis still lives.

ugh.

 (if that doesn’t make sense to you, read this post first)

I’ll give you a run through of the week.

This week was supposed to be pretty easy. We had to take Brandon’s car to the shop after work on Monday and planned on picking it up after work on Tuesday.  That was the extent of our evening plans for the week.

Monday starts off without a hitch. We both drive to the dealership straight from work, he drops off his car, and we drive back in mine. We come home and find some traces of mouse around the base of the stove..

Great. We clean it up, eat dinner and email the landlord to give her a heads up of what’s going on.

She responds: check under the sink for holes.

Thanks, landlord.

The annoyance level gets higher every day. The mice are completely ignoring the traps we have set out for them. We don’t quite know what else to do.

Tuesday morning Brandon finds out that the car won’t be ready until Thursday night.

Alright, that’s OK, we’ll share my car for the week. I let Brandon drive it and I get dropped off and picked up at my office’s door, rather than walking a half mile like I usually have to do…I think I get the better end of this deal.

Tuesday night. Come home, mice crap on the floor. Turn on the oven for dinner, and it just smells. 

That’s it. We’re fixing this NOW.

To appease the landlord, we did look under the sink one more time to look at the holes under there, and sure enough they’re still there!

Then we go to Lowe’s.

We buy the real traps, more wire mesh, spray insulation (for those holes) and duct tape.

As for the peanut butter, we only have the natural stuff, I think the mice like the sugary stuff. So we stocked up.

A guy at work said to tie a peanut with a twist tie onto the bait so then the mouse has to stay there for a while trying to get it off and there’s more of a chance for “capture.”

We put traps under the sink and in the return grill, then we cover the return grill and all the grills in the kitchen with metal mesh and duct tape.

We are living in one classy place right now, let me tell you.

 

So besides the traps and the mesh, we also went into the basement to try and plug more holes with the spray insulation. Then we pulled out the oven (again) and found even more presents from Francis. We tilted the oven back to really try and clean everything and while I was holding it back Francis poked his head out and (probably) stuck his tongue out at us before going back inside!

ooooooh Francis…I could definitely think of other “F”  names for you….

Anyway, 6 traps baited and set, all the registers are sealed and the floor is sanitized again. Time for bed.

Wednesday we wake up to empty traps.  The peanut butter was licked clean and there sat a lone peanut tied with a twist tie. None of them worked! Still hopeful, we rebait them with no peanut. Before we leave Brandon can’t find his keys…oh no…they are locked in the basement….crap.  oh well, I have keys, we can go to work.

In the meantime we get the go ahead from the landlord to call an exterminator. Brandon calls and they can come that day around lunch time. Great! I’ll go home for it, oh wait….I don’t have a car…..Brandon will have to go. Oh wait…he doesn’t have keys…looks like we’re both going.

The exterminator came and went and we went back to work. When we came home we had trapped two mice! One in the return grill and one under the sink.

One thing we did learn from the exterminator is that mice are smart. When we set out those glasses that first night a couple weeks ago, Francis sent out his weakest men to check them out and make sure everything was good to go. And then they got trapped. Francis learned! That’s why they only worked the one night.

Even though we already trapped two more of Francis’ subjects with these spring traps, we’re still being persistent with them. Hopefully that smell of sugary peanut butter will just too much for Francis to bear and he’ll have to come out and eat some.

Until then, the mouse hunting continues…

Copycat Boden Dress

I came across Boden from some girls in my studio last year and fell in LOVE with their clothes, I mean, practically every single thing in the catalog is something I would wear. Except, their t-shirts are 80 bucks a pop, and you won’t find a dress under $150…

slight setback.

I decided Boden had to become a source of inspiration rather than a source for shopping.

So here is one dress that I thought was super cute, and also incredibly simple to make:

This is from last season’s catalog that I luckily found this weekend while cleaning (I loved this catalog so much I kept it for over a year). The page is creased because I had it marked. Here’s what I did:

Basically the dress is a long, knit t-shirt. So that’s exactly what we did; got a standard t-shirt pattern to get the neck and shoulders right and then cut it straight down to the desired length. Then made the bigger hem on the sleeves and along the skirt. Looks pretty similar, right?

The dress is so simple to make and I wore it so much that we made another one for this year:

I love this bird fabric…it will be making another appearance in another form soon…

have a great day! thanks for stopping by!

Baked Butternut Squash

Hello there!

I made baked butternut squash the other night. I’ve been in a bit of a veggie “rut” for a while and have only cooked the same ones over and over again (hello, broccoli) and both Brandon and I were getting a little sick of the same few sides every night.

When I was at the grocery store, they had a box full of pretty gourds and squashes. I decided to take the plunge and just buy one. I’ve eaten squash before, I just had never made it. So I picked up the butternut squash and brought it home.

Then it sat on my counter for a week…waiting until I finally decided what to do with it.

I perused different recipes on various recipe sites and found this recipe from allrecipes.com. This is what I did:

Ingredients for some good baked squash

-First I cut and peeled the squash into 1″-2″ pieces. (note: peeling squash is not fun, if someone knows of a great way to peel squash, let me know)

-toss the squash in some EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper, and parsley

-I added halved grape tomatoes too. Brandon didn’t like the tomatoes in it. I actually did. Funny because Brandon really likes tomatoes, and I don’t.

-Put everything in baking dish and bake at 400 for 50 minutes.

-sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes to let it melt.

then, viola!

Looks pretty good!

I would definitely make this again…maybe I’ll experiment with some of the other squash varieties!

served wtih panko breaded pork chops

Mousing Adventures

I have to start this post by first introducing my dog, Lucy, to the blog world because she has an integral role in this story and I’m sure she’ll be making regular occurrences on here since she is pretty much the star of the show at our house.

Lucy is a Cairn Terrier that has a rough life of sleeping in the sun and laying on the most fluffy and soft surfaces possible:

This is where Lucy sits all day while we're at work

Lucy lives on this blanket as soon as it gets slightly cool outside.

So, obviously the dog is pretty laid back.

usually.

Lately she’s been more alert and has been spending her days staring at the stove and refrigerator:

lucy on guard

We just thought it was funny at first that she was so interested in the stove. Until one day last week Brandon saw a mouse run from the stove to the fridge. I shook it off at first and, because I always seem to assign names to everything, jokingly named the mouse “Francis.”

Lucy just stared at “Francis” for the next couple days and things were ok.

Then one night when I was making dinner I could smell “Francis.”

turns out, Francis has friends.

We pulled out the stove drawer and found that they had nested in our potholders and were stealing lucy’s food and taking it under the stove! That’s probably the real reason why Lucy was spending her days staring the stove…she was really longing for all of her stolen food under there…

Anyway, by this time it is 9 oclock and neither Brandon nor I want to go out and get something to take care of this issue. So, naturally, we turn to google and find out how to make this little contraption:

The mouse traps set

Basically we took a drinking glass, smeared some peanut butter on the bottom of it (mice can’t resist peanut butter) and propped it up with a quarter. Francis and friends will smell the peanutty goodness, go under the glass and put their little mice hands up against the glass to get the peanut butter and bam! quarter knocks over and the glass traps the mouse.

The next morning I wake up and hear glasses tinkering downstairs. We go down to find not only Francis, but one of his friends as well under the glasses.  All four glasses had fallen, but somehow they escaped two of the traps:

Francis is caught!

Brandon took the mice and dropped them off by his work….on the other side of the highway.

We tried the same tactic again the next night and were unsuccessful. No mice were trapped…maybe there were only two?

Unfortunately it couldn’t be that easy. We came home after being out for just a couple hours to find Lucy’s food sprawled across the floor by the stove.

Francis was still there. This called for some serious action.

Saturday night was our mouse intervention. We pulled out the stove and fridge looking for any holes or cracks, plus a thorough sanitizing to remove all of the detritus Francis n’ Friends left for us.

Aside from mice loving peanut butter, we also learned that they hate peppermint. After we cleaned all the spaces we drenched cottonballs in peppermint extract and left those scattered about beind the appliances.

When we pulled back the fridge we found the culprit:

nooooo! a mouse hole!

The mice had found a way in through the capped water line.

Our next step was to plug up any and all cracks and holes where the mice could get through. We used steel wool to stuff all the areas.

mice hate chewing through steel wool, so it acts as a good deterrent.

After three hours of cleaning, minting, and stuffing the kitchen, we felt pretty accomplished on our mousing intervention. Things were cleaned and the whole place smelled minty fresh. We even bought a real trap when we were out that day and set it by the fridge just in case.

The next morning, no signs of mice! Things are looking good, right? Lucy will be able to go back to spending her days on her fluffy blanket….

2 hours later, Brandon sees Francis scurry across the floor and go down into the return air grille.

**sigh** the mousing adventures continue….

Have you had mice problems? What has worked for you?

the skirt series: part IV – the grand finale!

Happy Friday!

take the “Grand Finale” title lightly, because I’m more skirts will be coming, this is just the last one of this batch!

I saved this one for last because I am a bit partial to it. Plus Fridays are fun and so is this skirt! This is the first of hopefully many creations that came from Sew to Speak, a fabulous little shop in Clintonville filled to the brim with awesome fabrics. It was overwhelming to even try and pick a fabric to use for a skirt, so I got two!

Skirt #2

skirt #4

 

Sew to Speak has a blog, too so you can check that out and see what other fun stuff they have going on.

Hope you enjoyed the skirt series! I’ll have more creations for you soon!

fun circle scarf

We can take a break from the skirt series and I’ll show a quick and simple circle scarf. I love scarves. I wear them all year, and when I saw this fabric I knew I had to make a scarf out of it. Its super light so it doesn’t get too hot and I love all the colors.

circle scarf

Circle Scarf

There are a ton of tutorials on blogs for this sort of thing, so I won’t go into specifics on making it, but I will say that I only needed a half of yard of 54″ fabric. I’ve made past scarves with more and they were a little bulky, and this one twists around once perfectly.

More skirts tomorrow!

The Skirt Series: Part II

Time for part two of the skirt series!

Here is a simple A-line skirt. We’ve made this pattern a ton of times but it always looks different with the different fabrics.

skirt series #2

 

This skirt was a bonus from the weekend. When my sister came over for the sewing fest she came with a bag full of fabric that was just waiting to be cut up and sewn. I liked this one because even though it looks like a simple blackish-grayish skirt, there are a lot of colorful threads in the weave of the fabric so you could brighten up the outfit with some colorful accents.

Up next: a biased skirt