Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Hallo from Deutschland!
I am having a terrific time here.
The choir had a concert last night and I had to fight the tears.
The kids spent the weekend and Monday with the families of a local girls choir here in Neuss and the girls came up and sang a song with our kids at the end of the concert.
It was trancendent.
We take a trip to the Dom in Köln today and I can't wait to see the kids' reaction to the immense beauty of a gothic cathedral in the midst of a modern city.
I am running our of internet cafe time so I will sign off now,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Deutschland or Bust!

Hey everyone!
I will be absent for the next two weeks.
I am off to Germany tomorrow and I won't be back until July.

I am really quite excited.
I will be travelling with the HoH Children's Choir and they are a great group of kids and they sound terrific.

My two sadnesses are these-
I will miss my family a lot.
I have never been away from my kids for longer than 5 days, and the last time I was separated from my husband for that long was 7 years ago.

Also, I fear that I will completely miss the fresh strawberry season.
It's starting about a week later this year than in past years, so I might be able to get in on the strawberry action when I get home.

I wish everyone a couple of weeks full of playing in the sprinklers and seeing things grow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

We Have a Winner!

I had the Elder Hug-a-Bug pull a name from a bowl and the Rocket goes to...

Auntie Krista!

The sewing is begun, but I ran out of stuffing.
I hope to have it finished before Thursday when I get on the plane, but if not I hope that you will forgive the wait until July.

See you later,

Some Weekend Knitting

On Saturday while working at the Yarn store I cast-off my 1824 sweater.

With the help of my yarny friends I got some buttons and it is all set for the trip to Deutschland.

It feels good to knit down my stash somewhat.

When I first started knitting about 7 years ago, I made the brazen comment that no one should have a stash.

"How dumb to amass more yarn than you could knit up in one project."

Well, then I started working at the Yarnery and also at Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior, MN and I saw new yarns come in and sale yarns and I had a discount, so dangerous, and so began my stash.
Also, I hadn't anticipated the projects that would be left to moulder while I puzzled out a problem.
Mine is by far not the biggest stash out there, but it does fill up about three big Rubbermaid tubs, and a basket or three.

As I clearly have a problem, as soon as I was finished with the 1824 I immediately cast on Rogue .

I am using some more stash.

About 5 years ago, the Yarnery discontinued the older put-up of the Soft Shetland from Jamieson, and I bought 15 skeins as they were considerably discounted.

I have been half-heartedly knitting a Kristin Nicholas sweater with it since then, but the pattern was pretty complicated and I didn't then nor do I now have the patience or attention span to finish it.

It is a shame, because I do love the Nicholas sweater, but I will also love the Rogue.

I am cardiganizing it, there is a link on the Girl From Auntie's website, and I am thoroughly enjoying the knitting.

These Girl From Auntie patterns are great because they are mostly stockinette with a few spectacular cable patterns thrown in for interest.

Such fun, and they look complicated and impressive...

Have a beautiful Monday,

The weather here should be perfect for outdoor activity.

Talk to you soon,


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there and especially to the best three Dads out there, My Dad, My Father-in-Law and my Hubtastic Husband.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June from the Fifth Lamp and other things.

This here is my 100th post!
In honor of that occasion I have devised a give-away.
More on that later.
First things first, here is the Fifth Lamp photo for June-

I was hoping that the Fifth Lamp photo for my 100th post would be of a lovely sunny day with big puffy clouds, but with the husband out of town last week and a stroller with no brakes I was unable to take a picture off of a very slanted bridge on a very busy road last week when we had that kind of weather.

This has been the vista for a few days anyway, and I should allow some honesty about the weather for when I look back on these pics in the future.

One thing about the rain, though I don't know if you can see it here, the forest along the river is a jungle of greeny goodness.

Now, on to the give-away.

I have figured out a way to satisfy my insatiable need to make toys without clogging up the kids' room with anything more.

I would like to give away a rocket.

I designed these last year and I had planned to make them for the craft show that I didn't get in.

The two choices are these: On the right we have a vintage flour sack (I bought it 15-20 years ago, and it was an antique then) and on the left we have the makings of a camouflaged rocket, unable to be detected against the night sky.

My kids really love these rockets and I would love to share them with you all out there.

Please leave a comment saying which color scheme you like better and I will pick a winner at random.

I will close the comments on Friday at 9:00 PM

Thanks for reading and commenting for these past 100 posts, and I hope that we can continue our conversations for many, many more.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Can you hear that?

That's the sound of crafters everywhere shouting for joy!

There is a new business called Spoonflower that everyone should look into.

They are in the business of custom-printing fabric.

I had to try it.

In preparation for the next wave of babies that I am sure are on their way, I have designed a little baby to stuff and color.

My only regret is that I didn't realize how much I had to clean up my image for the final printing, so they printed the scan of my picture which included the border lines of the paper.

If the miraculous happens and BOTH children continue their nap I may get one of these babies made today.

More later,



Finished one baby.

I can see so many possibilities with these.

I could use just a little batting inside and write the baby's name on the swaddle and make 1st christmas ornaments.

I could embroider along the lines.

I could paint them, though in a fit of throwing a fit after the Younger Hug-a-Bug worked his paint magic on Friday, I threw all of the craft paints away.

I am so excited!

Surprises next post.


Friday, June 6, 2008

What kind of day has it been

I had my first real 'It's too quiet' moment today.

Here I was, feeling smug 'cause I spent a couple of hours cleaning out the monstrous mess in our bathroom cabinet, and downstairs the Younger Hug-a-Bug has gotten into the craft paints and is squirting the black into my jar of mother of pearl buttons.
Also there is paint in pools on the floor and on the other paints and on his pants and under his fingernails and between his toes.

Into the bath, which, incidentally, was covered with shampoo from when we came home from shopping earlier this evening and he decided to make a "Lotion Mess" in the tub, so he got a bubble bath in the bargain.

Not too much progress on the 1824 sweater today.
I think I need to turn in early tonight.
Sleep well everyone,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I need it

This morning we were having breakfast and I asked the Elder Hug-a-Bug for a spoon.

She was looking through the meager few we have left until I wash the dishes, and she gave me a huge soup spoon while she was holding a reasonable-sized one.

I asked for the normal spoon and she said "No, I need it."

She already had eaten her cereal with her own spoon, so I asked why she needed a second one.

"For hanging."

'nuff said.

We miss you Dada,


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Afternoon creativity

This morning the Hug-a-Bugs and I planned a post-nap walk to the park.

The Elder H-a-B was looking forward to it most of the day.
The Younger H-a-B was napping, and so I don't know how much he was anticipating the trip.

During said nap, my daughter spent some time in the yard painting.

A couple of months ago, the Mamas of the Craft chose painting matryushka dolls as our weekly project. We ordered blank sets from the internets.

I have to admit that I never got mine painted.

It's been fun to let my daughter paint them one at a time.

Today when we were all set to go on our walk, the Younger saw the paints out still, we never put anything away, ahem, and decided to take a painting break.

I loved watching his little serious face as he studied where exactly to put the color, and which to use.

Then, the Elder decided to come and join him.

And there was no fighting.
When the Younger was painting over the Elder's work, she said "you're helping me. I did the first part and you are doing the second part."

We did take the trip to the park, but I was grateful for this moment that they shared.

On another note, I knitted up some stash today.
I got through two balls of 1824 Cotton that I have had for 3-5 years.
I don't have much in the way of cotton sweaters, and I have heard that the weather in Germany will be between 50 and 80 degrees F when we get there.

Even if I don't finish this before I leave, it is a nice mindless project for the plane.

Have a good night,


Late Night

There is a little triangle of a public park near my work at the Yarnery.
I took the Hug-a-Bugs there this week and they had a great time pretending that this little shelter was a castle.
The lower picture is the Elder Hug-a-Bug as Rapunzel.
She's letting down her hair.
The younger Hug-a-Bug then ran around to the other side of the 'tower' and said "I am going to rescue you princess!"
It was pretty super duper.

My Hubby is out of town for a couple of days, and I had to work last night, so the Hug-a-Bugs spent the night with my parents.

For a moment I entertained the idea of going to the Sex and the City movie after work, but it didn't start until 9:55, and that is just too close to my bedtime.

Instead I decided to come home and get my Firth on.

I had a difficult decision to make; Love Actually, Pride & Prejudice or Bridget Jones' Diary.

I realized that I would never be able to make it to the end of P & P, and Love Actually didn't feature Colin Firth prominently enough.

Bridget Jones it was.

Good Decision.

I was able to make a little headway on the Jess sweater as well.

I am just finishing up the collar and I can pick out buttons today or tomorrow!

It is in serious need of a block, but I am happy with it overall.
I decided to go with a regular button band and collar instead of the long tie at the collar that the pattern calls for. I couldn't see myself keeping the sweater tied and I think it would have looked silly untied.

I leave for Germany for 12 days in about 2 weeks, so I am trying to figure out what to bring along with me, clothing-wise.

I have to bring a couple of sweaters, of course, for plane rides and concerts in cold churches.

I have a couple of sun dresses in the queue of sewing projects, along with some loose pants.

My hope is that by mentioning it here I will feel the need to get something accomplished.

Let's see how much sewing I can get done before I leave...

Wishing you a fun and frolicksome Wednesday,