Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas, Day 7

Another one of the multitude of Angels.


This is from The Nativity by MarBek.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas, Day 6

The multitude of angels was praising God.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas, Day 5

More Heavenly Host


Tapestry Angel by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum, on my tree skirt.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas, Day 4

Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Hosts:


We are having a lovely holiday. My brother came and spent a couple of days. We had a good time catching up.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas, Day 3

An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and said, Today a Savior is born in Bethlehem. You will find him wrapped in bands of cloth, in a manger.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas, Day 2

There were shepherds out in the fields, watching their flocks at night.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas, Day 1

I enjoyed posting the advent moments that I decided to continue with the 12 days of Christmas:

Here is the reason for the season, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling bands, laying in a manger.


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Advent, Day 24

Today is the final Advent moment; the angels announcing the Good News to the shepherds. As you can see, I didn't quite get done, but at least you can get the idea of what it is going to look like.

The verse, which isn't stitched yet, is For unto you this day is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord.


We always open our gifts on Christmas Eve, because DH was always too impatient to give his gifts. It is not that he wants to get his gifts, he wants to give them. I was blown away this year, because he got me a tablet!

Our family liked their gifts too:

C is making jewelry


 and mama and P are putting Legos together:


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent, Day 23

This day's moment is the Wise Men bringing gifts to the baby. It is out of order a little bit from the story in the Bible, but I know why Mary Beale did it. She wanted to end with the Angels' announcement.


I really like the load on the camel. The baby Jesus is just 3 stitches, but the whole stable is glowing.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent, Day 22

Today we have the story of Job. The Devil got permission to take away all Job's riches, children, and health. The Devil expected Job would not be faithful to God, because he thought his faithfulness depend on the things God had given him. Job suffered, but remained faithful, and prayed for his friends who claimed he had been sinful to deserve all the calamities (he hadn't).


The Lord brought back all the riches he had lost, and more children than he had lost, but I never felt that new children could really replace lost children. Plus, I feel sorry for his wife. (There were more than a dozen children lost, and replaced.)

Most of the Christmas shopping is done, but just have to start wrapping.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent, Day 21

Today the story is Esther. She risked her life by going to speak to the king when he had not called her, and by doing so saved her whole nation.


The pavilion took forever to stitch, but I think it is really beautiful.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent, Day 20

Today's story is Daniel in the Lion's den. I think the claws make these lions look very fierce. He was thrown to the lions because he refused to stop praying to God!


We are in the middle of watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe... I am afraid bedtime is going to be late. It is very exciting!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent, Day 19

Today's story is about Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. (There was a kids' song to go with this, so I always remember their names.) They refused to bow down to an image of the king, and so he had them thrown into a fiery furnace. Once in the furnace there were not 3 but 4 people walking around, and one looked like an angel. (See the one with the halo in the window?)


It was at this point that this project changed from being "my" sampler to "our" sampler. C helped me stitch the bottom panel of the furnace door; it was straight stitching all in one color, and she sat on my lap and stitched for 10s of minutes at a time. She was so proud! I have to get a picture of her stitching from DD2, but I will post it for you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent, Day 18

We are coming down to the wire, and I had better get stitching!

Today's moment is the story of Jonah. God answered Jonah's call by sending the big fish to swallow him. Jonah was running away from God because he didn't want to preach to people who were not Israelites, and he knew God would  forgive them. So this story opens up the Good News to the peoples of the world!


I love the row of sailors!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent, Day 17

Today's Advent story is Elisha and his servant. God had been telling Elisha the plans a neighboring king had been making in his war council; the king was convinced he was harboring a traitor until someone told him what Elisha had been saying. The king then sent soldiers to surround Elisha's house to get him to stop it. The servant could only look at the soldiers and was petrified, but Elisha could see the truth; he was protected by an even greater army.


You have to look very closely to see the angels in the cloud. There are rows of them!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent, Day 16

Today's story is one my dad used often on the mission field. Elijah had just finished a mountain top experience, defeating thousands of prophets of the false god, and successfully praying for the end of a 3 year drought. After that, coming down from the high, he was ready to die.

God took care of him, watching over him while he slept, and feeding him several times, preparing him for a long trip to God's mountain where he heard God's plan for the future of Israel. Dad's lesson was that after you have an experience that wrings you out, you need to take time to recharge in order to continue your ministry.


Do you see the food and water in the background?

We decorated outside for maybe the 2nd or 3rd time since we have lived in the house. Doesn't it look nice?


Happy 3rd Sunday of Advent: Joy to you!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Advent, Day 15

This is another David story. David was living in the wilderness (see the thorns by the road?) and they were watching over the sheep of local "ranchers." At harvest time, they went to the party to ask for some consideration for their help... and the rancher shagged them off. That made David furious, and he gathered his men together to wipe out the whole group. The rancher's wife, Abigail, heard what had happened, and had the presence of mind to head David off at the pass with a generous gift, and kept David from making a big mistake. A couple of days later Abigail became a widow, and David married her, because he was so impressed by her wisdom.


A love story, and an adventure, all in one!

Advent, Day 14

I lost a day there somewhere! Yesterday we had a movie party. Our small group at church got together to watch The Nativity, with snacks for intermission. We had a lot of fun!

Today's Advent calendar entry is David and Goliath. David was still a boy, not old enough to go to war with his brothers. His father sent him with provisions, and he heard Goliath challenging the army, and no one dared to meet his challenge. David accepted the challenge, because he knew he had God on his time, and he killed the giant with his sling-shot, and gave the glory to God.


David's french knot eyes look a little lopsided, don't they?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advent, Day 13

I think this picture is out of order... I am not sure if it is out of order in the pattern, but it surely is in my presentation.

This story is the source of the phrase: "Your God will be my God" but it was said to a mother-in-law, not to a significant other. Ruth was married to an Israelite in Moab (the family had moved there to escape from a famine); the father and both sons had died leaving Naomi alone. The other daughter in law (Orpah, who's misspelled name is very famous) went back to her family, but Ruth didn't want to leave Naomi or the God she had come to know, and traveled back to Israel with Naomi. There they were provided for by the laws God had given and eventually met and married Boaz. Ruth too is in Jesus' genealogy! She was David's great-great grandma, and because of her David always had a special relationship with Moab.


I love the little birdie on the roof with the straw in his mouth!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent, Day 12

Today we have Hannah bringing her son Samuel to the temple. Hannah was one of 2 wives, and the other wife had a lot of kids while she had none. Her husband loved her better, but her rival never let her forget she had not contributed any sons to the family, and she felt worthless. She went to the temple to pray for a son, and was praying so intensely that the priest (Eli, the guy in yellow below) thought she was drunk. She told him what she was praying for, and he told her she would have a kid!

She got pregnant as soon as they were home from the temple, and she stayed home until Samuel was weaned, which was probably 5 or 6 at least. Then she brought him to the temple to work there, because God had given him to her, she was giving him back. Every year, when the family went to the temple to worship she would bring a new outfit for Samuel to wear.

Samuel grew up to be a prophet that God spoke to directly, and he anointed the first two kings. So this is a pivotal point in the history of Israel.


I have always loved this story. One of the points that always touched me was God's compassion on the childless woman. I always thought that the story of the family life with 2 wives gives an insight into polygamy; never a good idea if you want a peaceful house.

I don't remember stitching this one! It must have gone quickly (and of course, it was several years ago as well). I really like the angel watching over Hannah and Samuel, though.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent, Day 11

Today we have the same story as yesterday, seen from a different perspective. This is Rahab, a prostitute, who lived in Jericho and welcomed the Israelite spies when they came to scope out the city. Rahab is very interesting, because she shows up in the New Testament, in Jesus' genealogy as an ancestor of his.


This square took a long time to stitch too, because there is so much solid stitching on it, but I love the red cord.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent, day 10

Today we have the first of two posts featuring Joshua. I always loved this story as a kid, and imagined myself as one of the soldiers marching around the city day after day; and then seven times on the 7th day! They must have been wondering if there was any point to it all! (both inside and outside the city).

day 11

I remember stitching those pink walls; it took forever! Looking at the picture now, I can see where I changed direction in my stitching... not good! I love all the different colors inside the city, all packed in "safely" from ravaging hordes like the Israelites. God had so many lessons to teach so many people with this victory!

Advent, Day 9

I'm sorry I forgot to post yesterday, it was a busy day.

Our advent picture for today is God providing manna and quail in the desert. The Israelites had done nothing but complain since leaving Egypt; their latest complaint was that they didn't have meat, or onions (!). Moses was ready to throw in the towel, but God sent food, enough for a huge number of people to have their fill, and more.

  day 9

Aren't the quail cute? I like the thought picture of angels pouring out the manna too!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent, Day 8

Here is the second Moses square. It is interesting that the legend says that the Lord parted the sea, not Moses. I love the water.

day 8

I was also surprised by how quickly this square stitched up. I think there is quite a bit of white space, but also, there wasn't a lot of hunting for colors; once I had located the 3 blues, I was set.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent, day 7

Today we jump forward from Joseph 400 years to the story of Moses. Here is the first entry for Moses, where he is floating in the river Nile in the basket his mother made; being discovered by the daughter of the Pharaoh.  (Either that, or being watched over by his sister until being discovered!)

day 7

There were two things in this picture that were very interesting: the water was a lot of fun to stitch. It looks like it has a lot of movement, but it is actually a very regular pattern, it is just the repetition that makes it look like it is moving. Also, there are a lot of bugs embroidered in this picture. You have to look for them, but they are there, which makes you think that there were probably a lot of bugs by the real river too. I also love the fact that Moses is up-side down. Takes away the sense of control, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent, Day 6

Today the Advent moment is Joseph in jail. You can't even see Joseph, the guy holding the cup is the King's Cup-bearer who eventually told the Pharoah about Joseph in jail.

day 6

I get a kick out of the key hanging by the door (reminds me of the Mayberry jail) and the rat.

This would so not be the moment I would chose from Joseph's life story. Everyone always knows about Joseph's coat of many colors, and I think that would be fun to embroider, but this moment does show much more clearly how God was in control of everything that happened to Joseph; even the things that seemed to be horrible.

Advent, Day 5

This is Jacob, running away from home because of something he did himself, having a dream. Check out the stone for his pillow! I always imagined the angels going up and down the ladder when I was a kid.

Sorry to be so late in posting, I am having computer issues.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent, Day 4

For day 4 we have the story of Abraham and Isaac; God asked Abraham if he would be willing to give up his son. Abraham was willing, and God stopped him from killing Isaac as a sacrifice; and provided a ram, caught in the thicket instead. This is a foretelling of God sacrificing his own Son for our salvation.

day 4

Again, we have the sun with a face, and several different flowers in the meadow. I love the different textures and colors of the ground!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent, Day 3

Here are Abram and Sarai (not Abraham and Sarah yet) when God called them to travel to the land of Caanan. God had called Abram's father, but he had given up on the journey before reaching the land God would show him; Abram and Sarai followed through. You can see them here preparing for the trip, they look like they are packing!

day 3

They were leaving a pretty good place too, can you see the fruit in the trees and the plentiful water? Sometimes it is hard to follow where God leads!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2

Here is Noah's Ark, floating on top of a water-covered world. Mary apologized for reversing the colors of the rainbow because she didn't want to put the blue water by the blue color. I really like the angels holding the rainbow up; the grape vines reference a sadder part of the story.

Day 2

I love the wave pattern!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First day of December--Advent

Here is the first square for Mary Beale's Advent calendar, Adam and Eve, right at the moment before Eve takes a bite.

  Mary Beale Advent Calendar 1

This was a good one to start with, because of all the flowers on the ground. It took a long time with a lot of color changes, showing what the whole series would be like. I like all the wild-life too, butterflies and bees. The sun and the moon have faces too; I think this is the only square with that.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter is coming

I don't know if I mentioned how much I am loving knitting mittens. It is a small project, but with a lot of gratification for finishing a pair. Here is the pair of mittens that started it all, with a scarf, a tam and a beanie. These are for my cousin who lives in Michigan. I hope she likes them!


Here is a second set of mittens I finished; they are from a kit from KnitPicks; a pair of mittens for every winter month. These are the October mittens with falling leaves and acorns on the thumbs. I love the colors... but the thumbs are a little tight. But I have 5 more sets to make, so by the end I should be an expert, right?


I am working on a set of wrist-warmers for DD2; luckily she caught me in time. She had admired a set of gauntlets from my new Vogue Mitten book (I told you, I'm a little obsessed) but after I had cast them on, she realized they went over coat sleeves, and she wanted something a little smaller.

DD1 has put in an order too, and I'm making something for my sister, plus a little bit of Christmas knitting, so I better get back to it.

I am planning on sharing my Mary Beale Advent Calendar, starting tomorrow; I have 23 of the 24 days done. Hopefully I will get done with the 24th one too, before I need it on Christmas Eve. The pressure is on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Hat

I made this new hat using a pattern I found on-line. It has both knitting and crochet in it. I think I got fingering for the white though, instead of sport-weight. The pink is a little big, and the white turned out a little small. It is still pretty, though.


I also have one more mitten made. Pictures when I get to the pair.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pictures from Michigan

My mom and dad no longer have a camera, so they had to wait for a grandchild to come by with a phone with a camera. Here is the case displaying my temari, along with a reflection of my dad and my nephew. I see my hand-written label has been replaced with a much neater one. I had hidden the label in the back of the case, and this label is front and center. (I think my parents are proud of me!) With the mirrored case, it looks like there are twice as many temari as there really are.


Here are the slippers being modeled. They look very cosy, and they look like they fit. Dad, I'm glad you like them.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Night on the town

Our fDSIL works at a new restaurant in Chicago, called Senza. (There are very nice pictures there of the interior, and of some of the food.) DH and I were told we should try to come on a Thursday night, and "they would take care of us." So, last night we drove up to Chicago, and found the restaurant, after finding a reasonable parking spot, and paying for 3 hours of parking. It is in Lakeview neighborhood. We invited DD1 to come with us.

The decor of the restaurant is very restful, with white furniture (picnic tables!) stone floor, and wood and burlap accents, with plants in the window. We were greeted at the door, and ushered to the best table in the house. They took our coats and asked again if we had any food allergies or if there were anything we didn't like. C sent us a little bubbly to sip on while we waited for DD1, we had arrived a little early. As soon as she got there, the fun started. We were advised to request the tasting menu, and were warned there were going to be some surprises. There were! (The tasting menu is 5 courses.)

We started with l'amuse-bouche (French for canape) of tuna and rice paper, served in a glass bowl with chop sticks. It was 2 mouthfuls, amazing flavors, but gone so quick it really left me wanting more. It was not on the menu, so I can't remember to tell you all the flavors that were included.

It did not make any difference to the flavor of anything, or what choices there were available, but Senza (which means without in Italian) is completely gluten free. When they brought the bread (with seasoned butter) I was very curious to see what it would taste like. It was very good, light with a very nice crust.

After that there was another l'amuse-bouche of pork belly with gnocchi, on a bed of chard. There was more to the dish, but again, this was not on the menu, and I do not remember all the details. It was so good! almost melting in your mouth. Again, it was just a little taste. C sent us some white wine to go with the appetizers.

Next came the soup course: Parsnip and Apple. This included lobster, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, and celery foam. Our servers assembled the soup in front of us, and every bite was a delight. The soup itself was delicate and delicious, and the additions added a new and interesting sensation to every bite: the pomegranate was a little bit tart, the pumpkin seeds were crisp and seasoned perfectly, and the lobster was mmmm (yummy sounds).

For each course the servers cleared away all the dishes and used silverware. The only clue we would have as to what was coming next was the kind of silverware they would give us. At one point they had brought spoons, and then came, took them away, and brought a knife and fork. The chef had changed his mind!

I am not sure I am going to get the order of everything right. As you can tell, it was a little overwhelming.

Next came the Foie Gras, with quince, grilled red onion, strawberry puree, and pistachio. The foie gras was sauteed, with just a hint of a crust around the melting inside, and each piece was set on a perfect round of grilled onion. This was one of my favorite selections.

The more dishes we tasted, the more I was impressed with the chef, Noah Sandoval. There was a balance, in each plate, of sweet and tart, smooth and crunchy, savory and sweet, hot and cold, or chewy texture with foam, so it was just fascinating to take a bite.

Next there was the Halibut, with plum, maitake mushrooms, pecan, and black garlic. I think this was DD1's favorite dish. The black garlic was a sauce, not overpowering, but very good. The plum was just a little wedge of fresh fruit, and the pecan was a little crispy wafer that provided the crunch.

Next was Whitefish. This included pork belly, sashi, enoki, and tofu. Again, the pork belly was so good, salty. The tofu added the smooth texture.

Next came the Tagliatelle, with tomato, artichoke, chanterelle, and truffle. This was a pasta dish, and it was really good as well. The pasta was very tender, and artichoke is one of my favorite flavors anyhow, so this really hit the spot.

We knew there was a beef course, and we were starting to wait for it, but the next course was the salad: a small sprig of grilled lettuce, with the base wrapped in a curl of anchovy, half an olive, and Caesar dressing with balsamic vinegar pearls. Again, the contrast in flavors was wonderful. The balsamic vinegar pearls gave such a burst of flavor!

After this course, they brought the steak knives and forks, so we were pretty sure it was the beef course. There is a picture of this at the website above. There was a small piece of beef (which was fine, DD1 and I could not even finish ours) with smoked potato puree, and small "pearls" of turnip, carrot, and parsnip, with a couple of blackberries. DD1 and I felt so bad we could not finish ours, but they packed it for us. (I finished mine today, and it was still good, although not as amazing as last night.)

For the next course they brought spoons for DD1 and me, and another steak knife and fork for DH. He got the Pekin Duck, with corn, blueberry, macadamia, and prosciutto. They took pity on DD1 and me, and gave us the first (!) dessert course. It is listed in the menu as Concord Grape, but is was a grape sorbet with poached pear; again delicate flavors, very light, and delicious.

At this point, we were worried about our parking meter. We had paid for 3 hours, and the time ran out. Just to give you an example of how pampered we felt that night, C ran to the parking lot and refilled the meter for us! It took off a lot of the worry, so we were able to enjoy the rest of the evening. He snatched minutes when he was able to come and sit with us, and at one point told us the chef didn't want to stop cooking for us!

The wait staff was wonderful! Friendly, informative, and very attentive. Along with the food, they made us feel very pampered; and they made the evening even more special.

Finally, we reached the "Chocolate" course. DD1 and I had been waiting for this, and it did not disappoint. There was a square of chocolate... it wasn't mousse, it was denser than that, but it was not as dense as fudge, and it was very dark chocolate. There was a small graham cracker on top, and there were two dollops of meringue on top of that, about the size of dimes. Cute, and so tasty! Along with the chocolate was a demi-tasse cup of chicory. I had never had chicory, even though I had heard of it in history books, it too was delicious.

Then for a crowning touch we all had coffee: DH had a cup of American coffee, DD1 had a latte, and I had a decaf espresso. I love the taste of espresso, but very few places make it in decaf, they think it is all about the caffeine. It was a real treat.

Thank you so much C! and all the staff and the chef. It was a once in a life-time experience! I didn't realize you could do some of those things with food, or do those kinds of combinations. It has changed the way I think of food!

I finished my mittens!

I finished my fair isle mittens, and I am super pleased with how they turned out. They are far from perfect... but I won't bore you with pointing out the flaws. They fit great, and are very nice and warm.


It took less than one week to make the left mitten, so I know I will be making more.

I gave away a cowl on the weekend, before I got a picture of it... so I can't share with you. I also gave my dad his slippers. I tried felting them on Saturday as well, but the water in the available washer didn't get hot enough. My mom worked on it by adding a kettle of boiling water to the washer, and then dunking the slippers in cold water. They felted up nicely, and I hope they did not get too small. I have another pattern to try if these do not work out. I am still hoping for a picture.

Today was crazy hair day at school. Here's the back of C's head with her pig-tail buns. She looked so cute!


Check out the new earrings!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Belated Halloween pictures

Sorry to be missing in action again... You have to be constantly on your guard against mood swings when you are fighting depression, and I let my guard down again. We have been busy though, with a lot of good things.

We went to a concert of Mozart music that concluded with the unfinished mass... simply breath-taking!

Two weeks ago we went to a Getty concert with good friends sponsored by Moody Radio; it was very enjoyable. This was the best of the pictures; I was trying to get a picture of the stage without using a flash; there is a reason this is small. It is terribly blurry.


After the concert came Halloween. C was Cleopatra: isn't she gorgeous? This is her with her teacher at the school Halloween Costume parade. Her teacher said, when she saw all of us, "I just love her!" Well, who wouldn't, but it was nice to hear from someone else.


Here's P as Captain America, ready to save the country. This is just before trick or treating, so he is a little impatient with me making him pose. (There are a lot more Halloween pictures on Flickr, if you are interested.)


Jake and I had our jobs too, handing out the candy. (I am sitting on his chain, otherwise he would have been trick or treating too, it looked like so much fun!)


Friday after Halloween we went to another concert at the Chicago Theater, Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, again with good friends. There was not quite as much audience involvement at this concert, and I was not as familiar with the music (it was the Thick as a Brick album).

Saturday we went to Michigan for our annual Family get-together, and had a very nice time as usual. But I forgot to take any pictures. I would have had more fun if I hadn't had so much itinerary; I set up a display case in the lobby of the building my parents live in with a temari display, I started felting the requested slipper socks for my dad, but the machine water was not hot enough to finish the job, and family had requested beads and beading as an afternoon activity. I missed out on visiting with several siblings because of running around so much. (However, the display case looks amazing! Please send pictures.) I also neglected to get pictures of the slipper socks and a cowl I gave away. I guess I am getting forgetful.

This week we are going to eat at the restaurant fDSIL works at!

Next week is a local concert, and the week after that the Protege Philharmonic down-town. As I said, we are keeping busy.

My current knitting project is a pair of Nordic style mittens. I am loving the knitting process, and I am nuts about the way the mittens are turning out. Pictures soon, I promise!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More camera problems

Well, after posting 4 times last week, I fell off the wagon last week and didn't post at all. I wanted to, but my camera would not talk to the computer. It's always something, isn't it?

I was looking for a picture of my lacy shawl, that I finished some time this summer, and I could not find a picture. Then I looked on the blog, for the post about finishing it, and I couldn't find that either, which means that you probably haven't seen it yet!

Bonus pictures of the new porch too!


Here you can see the pattern:


I finished knitting the slipper socks for my dad. They are not assembled yet, and since they are going to be felted, there is a sea of yarn. I really worry they are going to turn out good; I can never tell before they get felted. I'm afraid they will be too wide and not long enough.

I did knit a couple of bandana cowls. This is bulky Bernat Alpaca (I think it is 25% alpaca and 75% polyester) so the knitting went very nice and quick. I was only going to knit one, but I ran out of yarn; on the bind-off! So I made the other one just a little shorter, and  it turned out just as nice.


It uses short rows to shape the bandana point, and the garter stitch edging hides any problem you might have picking up your extra stitch from the "wrap and turn."

Since I finished the slippers, I gave myself permission to start my new fair isle mittens. They are on size 1 needles, so I have to get going so they will be ready by the time I need them. Red and white hearts! I hope they turn out good.