Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Happenings

Happy Holidays!!
December did not fail to meet expectations of a busy, busy holiday season!! I will post a December recap before long. I hope that each of you had a memorable holiday season and will experience many rewarding moments in 2010.
I decided to post a quick little note on my first wool hat for self. This one is to use for anticipated COLD weather as the Gamecocks travel to Birmingham, Alabama for the Papa John's Pizza Bowl. You all know how cold-natured I am . . . as soon as I saw that the high on game day would be around 40 degrees, I began digging out all the long johns, overcoats, wool sweaters and socks!
I thought if I was determined, that I could finish a wool hat in a few days . . . this was from leftover Cascade Ecological Wool that I used for the Hemlock Ring Blanket.
It is knitted in the round on size 7 (for the band) and size 9 needles. The pattern is Ann Norling's "Any Gauge/Any Size Hat".
Getting started . . . I used a 2x2 ribbed band instead of suggested 1x1.
Overall, I am pretty pleased. The hat seems a little large for me, although I followed all the directions closely. There will not be a problem with the hat covering my ears and keeping my head warm. The wool is also very soft and SO "cushy-comfy" feeling on my head!!
The colorful top pom-pom was made with leftover Peruvia Quick by Berroco. I used this to make vest a few months ago.
There are so many great things going on . We are watching everyday to see a few more camellias bloom.
The striped one is Tama Americana. This plant is really showing off right now. It seems appropriate for the holidays with its beautiful dark pink petals outlined in white.
Stay tuned for more action on holiday happenings, knitting, and "the babies"!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reminder to Santa

Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. Yeah!!! I have finally finished Christmas stockings for Annette and Lee. So sending out this post to remind Santa that there will be two new stockings hanging by the chimney this year!!

Santa needs to know that Grandma Pixie doesn't knit as tightly as Aunt Cathy (who has made these beautiful stockings for our family through the years). The result is that these stockings are a little bigger - - - which means they'll hold a little more loot!!

I am really hoping to finish my Christmas shopping today and then have time to enjoy some of the holiday fun . . . wrapping packages, baking, etc. I may even get brave (and energetic) and try to make a fruit cake.

Have fun getting ready . . . and remember the reason we celebrate!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

The Thanksgiving holidays have been filled to the brim with good times, good food, and getting together with family and friends! The Thomas family gathered at Grays for Thanksgiving lunch.

We spruced up the cottage with a festive table on the porch.

When everyone arrived we had our traditional Thanksgiving Punch and these pecan-topped cheese biscuits. The recipe is a rendition of Cocktail Cheese Biscuits from one of my favorite cookbooks Savannah Style. We have enjoyed these on Thanksgiving Day for years. I usually make this dough a few days ahead and keep it refrigerated until time for baking. Here are the ingredients - altered slightly from the original recipe:

Cocktail Cheese Biscuits

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sharp New York State cheese, grated

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup plain flour

Pecan halves Cream butter, cheese, salt and pepper. Add flour and work gently into a stiff dough. When ready to bake, roll into small balls and press half pecan on each ball to flatten. Place on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Aunt Brenda and Philip, jr.

Amy and Elizabeth

Michael hooks a fish in the pond...

Needless to say, we all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. We were able to visit with my family later that day. Then on Friday, Ashley came to visit with Annette and Lee. Look at these two little angels!!

Christmas Stockings

As we now get ready for Christmas, it is time to get their Christmas stockings finished and hung on the mantle. I am almost done!!! I was looking around on Ravelry a few days ago and found what looks like a pattern that is VERY close to these stockings. It is called 1945 Christmas Stocking and can be downloaded for free. Our family's rendition of these stockings leaves out the band with features "little people", but they are very similar. Check out the link if you're interested. Here's the beginning. . .

the middle . . . and the end!!! Getting down to the toe. I will add the names in duplicate stitch in the white band before sewing up the back of the stocking. I am thinking of all the many things that I have to be thankful for, especially my family and friends who make everyday special. I am looking forward to a very special holiday season. Do remember the reason we celebrate.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun November Weekend

This weekend Philip and I enjoyed an opportunity to babysit with Annette and Lee and give David and Ashley a chance to go to Carolina/Florida football game. We can definitely see these babies changing in just 2 weeks. They are on the verge of "smiling" and are much more alert and focused. They are two little sweethearts - - I had to make another video!!
Above is Grand-dad Philip holding Annette. Below is Lee after his bath.

Remember the Berroco Peruvia Quick?

Fun quick project: 4 skeins and size 11 needles. Simple ribbed pattern . . .

I used pattern for Baby Alpaca Grande Vest by Plymouth Yarn.

Now that I've had a quick, fun project it's time to focus on getting some things ready for the holidays. I had begun Christmas stockings for Annette and Lee quite some time ago. I thought I was nearly finished with the second one , only to learn that I had only worked about one inch down on stocking number two. I picked it back up, so I can get them finished in time to hang for Santa. The intarsia is going much better (and faster) this time. Practice does help with this. The name will eventually go in the white band - duplicate stitch. More to follow!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Grands Visit the Twins

Last weekend, before I ended my visit in Aiken, Momma, Daddy,and Aunt Cathy came by to see Annette and Lee. They were driving back to Ridgeland from the Clemson football game.
Daddy holds Lee. . .
Aunt Cathy takes a turn with Annette. . .
Everyone agreed . . . they are beautiful babies!!
Fall Breakfast
Earlier in the day we made a yummy breakfast. So many wonderful friends were bringing great things for dinner, we had eaten light breakfast all week . I decided to splurge a little on Sunday morning: we had sauage casserole and pumpkin muffins. It was a nice treat!
The sausage casserole was a recipe from food network. One of those things you can make the evening before and refrigerate until time to bake. I used regular white bread and left out the green onions.
Then there were those yummy pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling. I only changed the type of oil. I used canola oil instead of olive oil. After the recipe is completed . . . fill muffin cups about one-half full.
Then add 1-2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture.
Then top with a little of the brown sugar - cinnamon crumbs.
Voila!! The finished product . . . I'll definitely be making these again.
Knitting Babies have to sleep sometime . . . I was finally able to finish Annette's and Lee's baby blankets. Here is Annette's being blocked.
Here is Lee's after blocking.
I have enjoyed these long projects for the babies, but have to admit that I am REALLY excited about being done with these special blankets. I can't wait to get started with a few shorter projects I have been eyeing for quite some time.
My visit to Aiken would not have been complete without visiting Barbara Sue Brodie's wonderful knitting and needlework shop on Hayne St. She was having an October birthday celebration for the shop and there were just a few things that I couldn't resist! Here is the ingredient for my next knitting project . . .
Any idea what this might turn into???????

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Falling in Love

There is no doubt about it . . . Annette and Lee have stolen my heart!!
When these babies are together, Lee has the most adoring looks for his twin sister. She bats her arms around and they really like to touch one another. Look at the excitement in their eyes!
"...We're a team!" (Watch out Ashley and David!!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Twins Together

I have been visiting Ashley and David to help with the babies the past few days. I have so many exciting things to post about. We have been busy with all things baby x2.

Ashley wanted to let Annette and Lee spend some close play time together this afternoon. The video is only a few seconds, but is amazing to me how they feel the presence of one another and interact with one another.

I will post more later on all my activities this week. Just wanted to share this video.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Welcome, Sweet Babies!!!

I am so excited to share our families great news!! Ashley and David welcomed their baby girl and baby boy on September 28, 2009. Mom and babies are all doing well.
Pictures through the isolette windows are a little blurry, but above is Annette Claire Seawell. Below is Thomas Lee Seawell.
They are soooooooooooo sweet!!! Praise and thanksgiving to God!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

High Tide and Tailgating

"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. " Ecclesiastes I am always in awe of the beauty of high tide! Just had to share a picture of "high tide" this morning. Later today we'll be tailgating before the Gamecocks kick-off against Florida Atlantic at Williams Brice Stadium.

I've been wanting to make this Cornbread Salad for a while now. This seems like a great opportunity - hope it will be a crowd-pleaser!

The recipe is an adaptation from Cornbread Salad in one of our favorite local cookbooks: Full Moon, High Tide. Begin with a layer of chopped lettuce and mixed vegetables. I used tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, cucumbers, green onions, and black beans. Many of the recipes I scanned called for pinto beans - I just like black beans better. Take your pick! Then there is a layer of crumbled cornbread. Use your favorite recipe. I used "always dependable and quick" - Jiffy Cornbread. Baked, cooled, and coarsely crumbled. Next is a layer of dressing: This one is a bit fat-laden. 16 oz. reduced fat sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise, and 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (original). Last, but not least, grated cheddar cheese and crumbled crispy bacon!! (Layer everything twice.) Refrigerate!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Little Cabin in the Woods

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend!! We were able to spend some time in Cashiers, N. C. in this little cabin in the woods . . . (That song we learned in kindergarten kept popping into my head . . . "Little cabin in the woods . . . little man by the window stood . . . saw a rabbit hopping by . . . frightened as could be. Help me! Help me! Help! he cried . . . or the hunter will shoot me dead. . . Little rabbit come inside . . . safely to abide." Pretty heavy plot for preschoolers. Anyway . . . we had a great weekend. Philip and Amanda came on Sunday. Philip was our personal trail guide. We had a nice hike after lunch on the Chatooga Trail in the Nantahala Forest. We hiked down to the river and looked for trout. A few were sighted . . .but we had no fishing tackle. Our trail guide . . . and his assistant . . . A wildflower . . . amidst curled up rhododendrun leaves . . . A little sewing was also accomplished. Baby daygown number one has been smocked! It was really fun to smock again. It has been years since I've smocked. I was fortunate to be able to get "Ready to Smock" gowns from Susie's Ready to Smock. The smocking is done in ecru and adapted from "Heirloom" by Julia Golson. One more to go!! Today I will finish the baby crib skirts!! Another big cheer!! I love the fabric that Ashley picked out. It has a nursery rhyme theme with pictures of all our favorite nursery characters. It is called "Over the Moon". (Margarita Cushing - 5th Avenue Designs for Covington) And yes, the knitting continues . . .but those blankets still have a way to go!! I still can't imagine where the summer has gone. I'm never quite ready to give it up. One more burst of bloom from some of the plants . . . like this bottlebrush . . .
I do admit that it's exciting to watch some of the camellias begin to put on flower buds. The weather is a little cooler. As you can see, I'm having to convince myself that this is a good
thing. . . . I can't wait 'til next summer!!