Friday, September 27, 2013

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup - No Sodium, Low Potassium Recipe

Raw Mushrooms contain approximately 126-250 mg Potassium per half cup, which is listed in the medium category of our Kaiser Nutrition booklet.  Based on a serving size of 1/2 cup as a sauce over noodles or rice, this would break down to approximately
There are so many different Copy Cat Recipes online for this that it was difficult to decide which one to try.  This version turned out to be very good and I can't wait to use it with pork chops or round steaks. If I were going to eat just the soup, I'd have to add some salt. Or perhaps instead of adding the Table Tasty while cooking, I'd try adding it at the table, I'm thinking the slightly salty taste may cook out of it.

In the next batch I will leave out the celery and garlic and see how that works. I added the garlic because there was a weird taste that we decided was the celery, and it was like it was missing something to tone down that flavor.  The garlic powder worked and really gave it that little boost it needed. I'll be sure to post how the no celery, no garlic recipe turns out when I make it. I'm thinking it might be a closer match to the canned stuff, minus that salty taste and be more appropriate for my Tuna Casserole :)

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of finely minced onion
  • 1/4 cup of finely minced celery
  • 4 cups (approx. 12 ounces) coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoon of Table Tasty salt replacement
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Granules (powder or fresh should work I happen to like to use Kirkland brand from Costco)
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 packets of No Sodium Chicken Boullion crystals
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Mocha Mix

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onion and celery over medium heat until tender but not browned. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and salt replacement; cook and stir about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour a little at a time until fully incorporated, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix the boulion packets with the water, increase heat to medium high and slowly add the broth a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in sugar and Mocha Mix and heat through. 

Use about 1-1/4 cups to replace a can of soup. The recipe makes a little over a quart, or roughly enough to equal about 4 cans.  Use any place where you would use Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. Can be frozen.

P.S.  I use my beloved food processor (Thank You, Evelyn) for chopping and mincing the vegetables, makes this a snap to put together.

I adapted this recipe from
Many Thanks for sharing your "beloved southern béchamel".

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Seasoned Pork Chops - SUCCESS!

McCormick's Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb Salt Free (no potassium on the label either) turned ordinary pork chops into a delicious dinner this evening.  They got devoured before I thought to take a picture so the next time we make them, I'll be sure to snap a shot.
Perfect Pinch® Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning
E.J. made these and here's what he did:
 Sautéed a couple of onion slices in some olive oil.
Coated the chops with McCormick's Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb salt free seasoning and some black pepper on both sides of pork chop and cooked them in the onion flavored EVO (can use Canola Oil too) on a low heat until done, time will depend on the thickness of the chop.

That was it and they were moist and wonderful.  YAY!  I just know we are going to be able to do this!!  We added some garlic noodles (oops, the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter has some potassium and salt in it as a preservative, hopefully it's not much though.  The amount isn't listed) margarine, oregano, pepper and E.J. likes to add basil, I don't like the basil in it and I add salt to mine on my plate, and some canned salt free green beans flavored with a couple spritzes of the fake butter spray and we had a rather yummy dinner that met all the new diet restrictions.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

No Salt, No Potassium, No Sugar, No Carbs, No Protien, What the heck?

I'm going to try to start sharing this restricted diet journey so that others who are having to change their whole culinary world may find a little help from our trial and error.

The Dad has fiddled around (barely paid any attention) with his diabetes to the point where he now has CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) and is approaching stage 4 along with hyper-tension.  His doctor woke him up to the reality of his situation when the threat of dialysis came into his most recent evaluation of lab tests, so we are in a hard scrabble to make the necessary adjustments to his eating habits and it's really proving to be confusing and extremely difficult and I feel so bad that he has to give up all the foods he loves the most in order to extend his life a bit longer.  (Whew! talk about a run on sentence!)

We had been working on the diabetes at meal times, but he would eat out and sneak things that he wasn't supposed to have.  I'm happy to say, he has stopped that.  At least so far :)  He's actually trying to keep a log of what he eats during the day (well, he tells me and I write it down) but we are working together on it.  Sometimes I think it's harder on E.J.  He likes to cook with all kinds of stuff that are now on the cannot have list and we are all having to change our thinking and make the proper adjustments when cooking for him.

One thing that is helping us is that we fix the bland meal that the Dad can eat and then after he is fed, we doctor it up with the stuff to make it taste yummy.  So far, we've managed to make some interestingly edible (not exactly delicious but edible) substitutions to our dinner rotation.  Lunches are proving to be the real tricky meal of the day.

Plus, I'm so morbidly obese that it's really hard for anyone to take dietary advice from me.  It's gonna be that 'practice what you preach' kind of thing.  I don't have the same health concerns that he has, but my problems are mostly weight related and I should have been paying attention to my eating habits for many years now too.  NO MORE EXCUSES!!!!

We went to the nutrition class that Kaiser holds for kidney care, and he went to the diabetes class a few years back.  They have both been really helpful, but we have put in a request for a personal nutritionist to help us with meal planning.  Doing this on our own, with all the vague and inconsistent information we are gleaning from just about everywhere is not helping us much.  We have come up with some really good substitutions so far and I hope to share them here, however, the quest continues for better recipes and meal plans.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Princess Dress

I stumbled across this blog and had to share this post.  I used to have little girls in my life that would have loved to wear this dress.  It would have been so much fun to make it for them too, but maybe someone else would like to give it a shot and make one for their precious little ones.  It's all about making them smile isn't it?

Back In The Saddle Again

Wow!!  I finally got back to my blog and it had all changed!!!  Blogger that is.  Took me awhile to figure out where to go and what to do to get back into my blog but here I am :)  I hope to be posting a whole lot more.

As to why I stopped, well it's a long and still incredibly painful story that has left an open wound in my heart that will never heal, but I do believe I've recently found a bandage just big enough to cover it up a bit and get myself back to living life just a little more positively and productively.

In other words, I've slapped some cold water across my face, shook myself off, picked myself up by my boot straps and I'm trying to be ready to ride this roller coaster called life once more :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pizza Sauce

I want Pizza!! But I don't want to pay a gazillion bucks for it, plus I want it now!! Not in 45 minutes or more. So? I dug out a can of tomato sauce, dumped some dried basil, oregano, a pinch of thyme and bunch of re-hydrated minced garlic and a packet of crushed red peppers from the last pizza delivery in a little saucepan, warmed it up so the flavors could blend and Viola! Yummy pizza sauce! I looked up recipes online, and there are a bunch of them but what I was hoping to find was a Copykat recipe for Pappa Murphy's Take N Bake red sauce. All I could find was the garlic ranch chicken sauce. I might try that the next time I have left over chicken meat, tonight all I had for my toppings was thin sliced sandwich ham, sliced black olives and medium cheddar cheese. Came out a bit greasy from the cheddar, but smacked those pizza craving buttons and I am extremely satisfied :) Oh! It's an old sour dough bread round I had in the freezer that I used for the crust. I guess that makes it Pizza Bread instead. Either way, I sure hope I can duplicate my sauce 'cause it was delicious!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Left Over Pot Roast? Make Black Bean Chili!

Yup, I'm not much of a pot roast fan, but my husband and his father like it and it's one of the less expensive cuts of meat that I just can't pass up when on sale. However, we always end up with a huge chunk of that grisselly fatty meat left over. Usually it gets put into a sandwich for lunch the next day, then sits in the fridge till it turns into a nice little dog snack for Nelly and Scooby.

This time, we had such a large roast, there was just too much to let go to waste. I got this idea that since the old fashioned ground up suet meat that we used to get to make chili con carne was mostly fat with a little beef in it, why couldn't I grind up the left over pot roast and use it the same way? Guess what? It turned out super delicious!! We trimmed off as much of the fat and grissle as we could, chopped it up in the food processor and then added it to a pot of black beans, seasoned it up for chili and it was fantastic!!

Getting creative with leftovers is soooo much fun, especially when it turns out well :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


I love enchilada's, but rarely make them because I never really cared for the red sauce from the can. My mother used it, but she always added left over gravies from other meals, like chicken gravy or roast beef gravy or even both kinds of gravy added to the same red enchilada sauce, and they were always delicious. Actually, now that I think on it, I believe she used those powdered sauce spices you buy in the envelop and doctored those up instead of the cans, or maybe both from time to time. She was a Super Mom, career woman on her own with kids, before the term was even coined and back in the 60's there weren't many kitchen shortcuts like there are nowadays. (Isn't it amazing how delicious pre cooked food from the market deli's are now? We take it for granted but the meals you can make with a simple roasted chicken picked up on the way home are wonderful!)

Well, I had left over pork adobo taco meat, left over frijoles, onions and other taco fixings that I usually make into a taco salad, but it was a cold and gloomy, rainy day and I wasn't in the mood for a cold salad meal. Aha! Why not make Enchilada's! Meat, cheese, onions, corn tortillas, a little bit of this and that all rolled up together with enchilada sauce, huh-oh, I don't buy enchilada red sauce, not a can of it in the house and I was about to give up on the idea since I didn't have any left over gravies either. Dumb idea Clarisse, and it hit me. Doh! The internet silly woman! Recipes are all over it, I've been trying new stuff for years now, ever since I got "connected" and Viola, several home made enchilada sauce recipesright at my fingertips . They are really super simple too, and guess what? Delicious!! I should have taken a picture but my family devoured them before I could get the camera out.

What's my point? I'm an idiot sometimes. It's like when the power goes out and you think you can't use your gas stove because it has electric ignition switches and all you really need to do is hold a match up to the burner to get fire LOL!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wow! Time Sure Flys!

Well, it's certainly been ages and ages since I posted on my blog! Glad I'm not giving out life or death information here LOL!!

So far, 2011 is sure looking to be a much better year than 2010. Even with job losses and other family disasters, we are beginning to smile a bit again.

And better yet, I'm sewing, knitting, trying to paint and beading again! Yay!!! I got a new Brother electronic sewing machine for my birthday, a new camera at Christmas and have almost worked out my crafting spaces so that I can actually get some stuff done. It's about time, I've been missing my creative me. It's one of the things about myself that I treasure most and it feels good to have my emotions and my mind in a place that I can actually be productive again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sock Stealing Kitty

Meet Luna. She is one of the 2 babies I just couldn't bare to part with so, yes, I have 4 cats now. Xena isn't happy about it, she still thinks she is the queen bee around here and makes sure that all the other "kids" know that she is the boss of them, but they all enrich my life so much and I love 'em. The topic of cats and knitting comes up frequently on the chat/email groups I participate in and today was no exception. I remembered I had managed to take these photo's of my little sock and yarn theives and wanted to share them while it was still on my mind.

This orange tabby is my male kitty, Sunshine. Luna is relaxing on the top of a bin stack. I had thought this shelf arrangement for my yarns that are in plastic cases would work, I was way wrong. The "kids" think it's great fun to knock them to the ground. It reminds me of the way my children used to love to spill stuff all over the floor, just so they could watch me clean it up LOL!! So now I have my heavier cones up on that shelf. So far so good, they are squatty and heavy and can't be pushed off the edge so easily.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The New House

I hadn't realized that it's been so long since I posted! Between all the Facebook and other email updates, I've kind of been slacking on my blog. Yup, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :) So, we are moved in, well, as moved in as we will ever be I suppose. We could probably fill another moving van with all our junk that's been left behind. Here are some photo's of the new house. We're pretty settled in now and getting used to having Ed, my Father in Law, living with us has been easier to adjust too than I orginally had thought. That's really nice too :)

View from the front door into the living room. I've since moved the bigger table back into the kitchen and have the little table in the front corner of the living room. I'm still looking for a sofa and a couple of chairs.
The counter bar and dining are of the kitchen.

The living room from the dining area.

and the Man Room!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moving... Still!!!

Well, we have one more trip to the desert and that should complete our move. The "vacation house" will have the minimum necessitites in furnishings for when we go "visit", but I can't believe that we filled up a 24' moving van, a pickup truck and my car and still have another pickup load to go! What was that I was saying about being a pack rat? Yup, it's true, and we got rid of everything we could bare to part with too. E.J.'s just as bad as I am. He's been moving around bricks from the old Banana Ranch in Angels Camp since 1984 LOL!!! I don't know what's worse, that he has them, or that he knows what they went to after all these years. "E.J.! What are these rocks for? Why are we moving rocks?" "They're from Banana Ranch!" Oh Brother!!! His little bit of must keep Gold Rush memorabilia/history is from the infamous bordello building outside of town LOL!!!

When we got here, the girl dogs where in season so Augie was tied up out front, where he decided to vent his frustration by doing a little landscape demoliton.

This area was all planted and those now empty containers used to hold cuttings that E.J. had started. He also took out a 4 foot fence section. Lucky for him, E.J. was taking it out anyway, but still..... Bad Dog!!!
This was a beautiful long stem, nearly thornless, red rose bush. Augie decided it was time to prune it down to the base I guess. Bad Bad Dog! And we won't even go into the Geraniums, well, what used to be Geraniums. Good thing they will snap back.

Now that the girls are out of season they are all out back in a very large, fenced in yard, with lawn, dirt, trees and the service porch door is open so they can pretend they are in the house :) The only thing missing for Augie is his little kids wading pool, we'll have to see that he gets a new one on payday. He is a water dog after all, and even though the Delta is just a short walk from the back fence and across the road, he's not allowed to go by himself and Dad is too tired at the end of the day to make it an every day trek. We all know that I ain't gonna do it either, so it's back to a little wading pool to get him by between Delta swims :) After all, we don't need him ripping out lemon and peach trees. Hmmm.... maybe we should tether him to those plum trees we are going to take out LOL!!!

I couldn't give up my kittens, I found a good home for Sadie, the first born on Saturday, had a taker for Luna, the little girl born on Monday, but I wasn't convinced that it was a good match for her so I decided to keep her, and Sunshine, the little boy born on Sunday, was a keeper for me too. So I have 4 cats now, confined to living in 2 bedrooms (we cut a little cat hole inside the adjoining closets between our bedroom and my Knitting/Cat room so they can go back and forth between them in secret during the day) but I let them out to carouse around the house at night after Ed is in bed :) He doesn't like cats so I'm making sure he doesn't have to deal with them. See? I can make sacrifices and be a nice person too sometimes :)

'I could make that jump, there would only be a small avalanche of stuff, I could live with that!'

'Let mee oowt!'

'Those kids just need to get with the program and relax.'
Combining the 2 households is an ongoing challenge, but we are beginning to make some progress. It's so overwhelming to see all these boxes piled up in the rooms and trying to figure out where to start. It's been especially hard for Ed. He's used to having 2 bedrooms that he used as closets/garages so there is lots of stuff to be organized and gone through. I'm really proud of him though, today he actually threw out a whole large garbage bag full of receipts and mail and stuff that dated back to 1985! 3 packrats in one combined home, I'm going the rail and bracket shelving route for all the closets and half my knitting room walls, E.J.'s talking about a 12x12 new storage building built out back where we are taking out some prune trees. Good idea, turns out our first choice home is a money pit and requiring all kinds of expensive rebuilding, so we got lucky on that one, but we are still managing to find all kinds of ways to sink money into this place too. I think all homes are money pits! It's either fix and repair or change and add on :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July, 2009

The real joy of moving back to California is that the bulk of my grandchildren live here too. They are only 2 hours away, up in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. My Mother and 2 sisters and their families are only an hour and a half away too. It would be nice if they were closer but I also have Aunts and Uncles right here in the East Bay too. My mother in-law and her husband are up in the Sierra's closer to my daughter too, so it all works out quite nicely :) Now, if I could get my son out of Florida..... and Alex out of Canada.... but this will have to do for now. We keep hoping to get Alex for the summer again, but there are complications with the new passport laws and his citizenship, maybe we can get it all ironed out for next summer.
What's even more perfect is that even though my daughter and I have a somewhat volatile relationship, it's really great right now and I'm going to enjoy every last single minute of it!! We were able to join them for the Fireworks show at Don Pedro Reservoir and it was a very lovely evening. Not too hot at all and the display was wonderful. They have some new to me fireworks that are the big chrysanthemums and then the tips of the chrysanthemum burst into to tiny chrysanthemums. Very very beautiful, I wish I'd have been able to get a shot, but I need to get a larger memory card. I ran out of space on the camera, but more importantly, I did get these shots :)
Grandpa and Selene (aka Squish becuase she's soft and squishy :)

Squish, Grandpa and Becca

My little angels with their glow in the dark "Halo's" Severen and Trinity.

Giddy Up, Dawg!

Becca and Justin getting ready for the fireworks display at Don Pedro Reservoir.
Let Freedom Ring!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

As The Kittens Grow

At 4 weeks old: I was so worried that Xena was going to harm the kittens and I couldn't have been more wrong. She practically adopted them as her own, or thought she was one of them, I'm not sure which but she was constantly with them along with their mommy. She's been a perfect Auntie Xena and Stimpy is the best momma kittie I've ever had.

At 5 weeks they've managed to climb out of the basket and have discovered the yarn, and wrestling. They were so clumsy and so cute and have so much fun together.

At 7 weeks: They have discovered climbing around the furniture. That's my doublebed knitting machine under the cover, my Knittin Kittens :)

All that rambunciousness takes a heavy toll, naps are taken often throughout the day.

Auntie Xena and Sunday, he's 9 weeks in this shot.

Taken tonight, my little cat family. The babies will be 10 weeks old this weekend and if I don't take them to find new homes now I'm going to miss my "ooohh aren't they soo cute and little!" window and my hubby will not be pleased if that happens. 5 cats is just too much for him to take, but me? I'd love to keep them all :)

Don't they look so content and happy? I need to get a better shot of Saturday's face, it's orange and white striped on one side and brown and white striped on the other other side. Two Face would be a good name for her :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kitty Grandma

No lack of drama here! Stimpy snuck this one in, she never showed any signs of being in heat and there were none of the tell-tale male cat fights at night either. She just snuck out, went next door where there are a couple of boys one afternoon and here is the end result. Please, spare me the lectures, I've heard them all :)
Anyway, to continue the drama, she went into labor Saturday afternoon and #1 was born around 10:30 pm (the calico with the light grey body and black head). #2 was born about 6 or so hours later on Sunday (orange tabby, the only boy). I knew there was still at least one more baby in there, but all day Sunday went by, I looked it up online and was advised by several websites that it's known to take this long but I should take her to the Vet. I decided that since she didn't show any signs of being in any kind of distress or discomfort, if the baby didn't come before the end of business on Monday, I would take her. Thank goodness Stimpy decided to save me that bill and #3, a darker calico, arrived Monday afternoon. Whew! Talk about cutting it close :) All are doing great. She decided to deliver in my bed, I'm hoping to save my white comfortor and white and pink sheets, but I found some great stain removing formulas to try. Besides, the sheets are old and isn't that why the make Duvet's? I'm just happy to have babies in the house again.
Xena isn't being threatening but I still don't trust her so I'm keeping them in different rooms. It was rather noisey the first couple of nights, Xena is the queen bee and believes the whole world revolves around her so she's a bit confused at being locked into the back bedroom. Oh well, she'll get over it. I did introduce her this morning and she behaved, but I still just don't trust her. Stimpy thought it was great to be able show off her brood to her evil sister. But she's such a nice kitty and Xena is, well, Xena :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Packrat Advantage!

I've come to a kind of odd conclusion. It's better to be a packrat. I am going to stop agonizing over my obsessive compulsive inability to throw anything away and embrace it. I have started a list of some pretty good reasons too.

  1. I almost always have what I need for a project, even if it takes a while to find it all.

  2. I don't have to hurt anyones feelings by not keeping a gift that they gave me.

  3. If it's something that I'm not going to use very often, I can put it in a storage space and then get it when I want it.

  4. I get to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself (i.e. a kiln at a garage sale for under a $100!!!) When I want to learn to throw pots, I'll be all set but for the clay (yes, the wheel has been in the back of the garage for years now)

  5. I can live totally by my whims.

  6. I don't have to make agonizing "decisions" about what I want to keep and what I don't want to keep. I get to keep it all!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shame On Me!

I've had so much change the last few months, I just realized that I hadn't posted anything to my blog since January! Shame on me!

Most of you are aware that E.J. and I are in the middle of a lifestyle change. But, to sum it up, when construction came to an abrupt dead stop here in Kingman, AZ, so did his landscape job. His boss, bless her heart, really worked hard to expand the landscape business into more private homes as opposed to new construction, but with the recession starting into full swing, he was laid off last May (or was it early June?). He began the excruciatingly difficult job search process and drawing unemployment ( a real joke here in Arizona, I couldn't believe how little the employee earned insurance payments are here compared to California).

Anyway, his father suffered a complication from his cancer surgery and on a Thursday in August 2008, E.J. took an emergency flight to San Francisco (maybe it was the Oakland airport, can't remember now) and hopped on BART to Concord, expecting to stay about a week or so, but after he saw his dad in the hospital, he just knew what he had to do. He picked up a newspaper to see what kind of work was around, faxed his resume to a company on Friday, had an interview on Tuesday and he started work the following Monday. Wow!! Was that fast or what! Mr. "I Hate California!" Mr. "Curse The Day My Family Forced Me To Leave Michigan", calls me up and says to me "I hate to admit it, but I am home." Turns out that he really does love California after all, it's the mountains and the snow he hates, not the San Francisco East Bay Area. Concord/Pittsburg to be more precise which is actually more at the mouth of the delta into the San Francisco Bay, the Carquinez Strait etc. as it is on the east bay, but mappers consider Contra Costa County as East Bay Area, so who am I to argue LOL!!!

So the new "Do Over" began. We've been living apart since then for a few reasons.
  1. I'm too fat to heave myself up and down the stairs of the 2 bedroom townhouse they are living in.
  2. The only bathroom is up those stairs.
  3. We have 4 dogs and 2 cats that are not allowed to be in the complex.

Number 3 is the biggie. We could turn the two bedrooms upstairs into a little dorm room type kitchen and I would only have to go up and down the stairs when I needed to go out someplace, so there is a work around for that one, but our "children" Augie, Scooby, Nellie, Ren, Stimpy and Xena need a place to live too. Rent is over 1500 dollars a month in that area and that's just not acceptable. The upside to this recession and property crisis is the number of foreclosed homes for sale on the market. We've looked at about 15 homes in our price range, have currently made 5 offers, 2 were outbid on, 3 are "waiting to see if they get something better" and we are still looking. We just need to be patient.

I was driving back and forth to visit my beloved hubby, but another little kink in the rope. My son and his lady friend had been living here with me which made it possible to take off for a few weeks at a time. They took care of the "kids" for me. Well, Stephanie's father is in his mid 70's too and he took a sudden turn for the worse and begged them to come back to Florida. They packed up the Jeep and off they went. I'm very proud of them for loving their families enough to take care of them when needed. Chris sure helped us out while he was here and Stephanie washed dishes! Anyone that knows me, knows how valuable that made her to me LOL!! She's a lovely woman too, I really enjoyed getting to know her and reuniting with my son. He had been in Florida for about 4 years. Now he's helping another family that needs him. I'm so happy he has those kind of values. Both my children grew up with some extreme emotional disadvantages but have overcome them (or are continuously working with them) to become wonderful people in their own rights. I'm very proud of both :)

So, just in case you were wondering. There it is LOL!! More information than you ever wanted to waste your time on. In the meantime, I have reclaimed my home, I have knitting machines in every room but the bathroom and kitchen. Hmmm.... I do have a mini Bond machine I could hang on the wall next to the toilet LOL!! Nah, I'll stick to the dpn's and sock knitting for that space. Hows that for an addict!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Selene and Great Grandma

And this is what it's all about! My mother and my granddaughter, this is love :) Yes I knit the blanket :)

Happy New Year!

Just when you think that the younger generation and their children don't understand how wonderful life can be and how sharing love with each other can be super terrific, little kids in the neighborhood go out into the street at midnight on New Years Eve and bang pots and pans screaming Happy New Year!!! Just the exact same way you did back in the 50's! Life is a truely wonderful thing, there is hope after all for our future and it lies in the hearts and souls of our children.

Happy New Year to one and all!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Loader vs Front Loader Felting

On some of the list groups the subject of felting methods comes up from time to time and among these is the debate about front loading washing machines and top loading washing machines for the felting process. I have seen all over the internet that front loaders can't felt. I have seen some felting done in front loading machines and there was still stitch definition so I attributed that to the lack of agitation in the front loaders. I am saying all this because I now have proof that I was wrong when I believed that miss information. Here is a picture that shows it.

The red boots felted perfectly in a very nice, very fancy (yes, I want one now) front loader.

The pattern is the hand knit Fiber Trends Alpine Boot Slipper pattern and although the pink furry boots look red, they are actually hot pink with light pink fun fur. The furry ones are the high top version and were felted in my top loader, the red are the low top version, knit for my grandson who was with his mother this holiday so we won't know if they fit him or not yet. I hope he likes them because....

My Granddaughter LOVES them :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Holiday Wish

With a deep respect for all faith's and cultures,
Out of love for all humanity, regardless of beliefs and practices,
May the traditions and celebrations that you hold dear,
Be filled with the gifts of peace and joy that sharing our lives with others brings us,
And that those around you are treated with respect and tolerance during this very magical time of year.

Seasons Greetings and Happy Happy Holidays!

E.J. & Clarisse


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fan and Feather Layette

This layette is all hand knit. The Feather and Fan pattern stitch can be done on the machine, but it's kind of tedius and sometimes, just because you can, doesn't mean you should and I opted to hand knit the little baby afghan/nursing shawl.

This is Bernat Softee Baby sport weight in Bunny Print. First I attempted a Baby Surprise Jacket with it from a test pattern, but the numbers were off and it was lopsided so it got ripped out, then I did the All In One, too blah and I ripped it out again. I wanted something a little lacy so I decided to try the feather and fan for the bottom part with the intention of putting it on the LK140 to do the top and sleeves. Well, I decided I didn't like the plain stockinette with it, it needed to be a garter stitch since the rows between the lace are garter stitch so off it came again, ripped out the machine part and I ended up hand knitting the whole thing. I think that's got to be a first for me, I converted a machine knitting pattern to hand knit LOL!! Usually it's the other way around, going from a hand knit pattern to the machine. Just goes to show how versatile it all can be :)

The booties are a free pattern I found online and I must say, I think I really like it. It was fast and fun to knit up and when I find the url again, I'll be sure to post it and I think I want to do some kind of a little bonnet. If I hurry, my granddaughter will actually get to wear it before she grows out of it LOL!!

This is a little crochet dress from a free pattern online. It was supposed to fit a newborn to 3 month old. It fits my 15 inch Betsy Wetsy doll perfectly. Yes, I'm a little disappointed, especially since I got the correct gauge too. I guess we get what we pay for sometimes, but oh well, the basics for the pattern are good and I'll just change the numbers to get a dress that will fit a real baby. The little red Mary Jane sock is a victim of incorrect gauge, but a really neat learning experience, intarsia in the round, and it barely fit the teeny feet on this doll, so I'll go ahead and make another one to match it after I make the required adjustments for a pair for my little granddaughter. The doll isn't going to grow out of them so she will just have to wait LOL!!

And this is another baby afghan knit on my Toyota KS950 punchcard machine. I really am pleased with the way it turned out, but I do need to get a better photo. It's cream colored with a pale pink ribbon woven through the crochet edge.

First Birthday Gift?

Well, I thought I'd convert the All In One Cardigan pattern that I am so fond of for use with the Bernat Softee Baby Jacquards yarn on my mid-gauge LK140. This doll wears about a size 3 months to 6 months size and as you can see, this sweater will fit a 12month old quite well. Major calculation failure, but at least it's proportionate and came out too big all over instead of just too wide or just too long!! I had a heck of a time deciding what kind of trim I wanted to put around it, nothing I did looked right until I tried these garter stitch bands. Perfect for the sweater and the sleeve cuffs are long enough to roll up too.

So, it won't be a new baby present, but I'll knit up a pair of matching lavender pants and a pair of socks out of the jacquard and maybe a little beanie hat with the jacquard and lavender together for a cute little suit for Selene's first birthday next October. Since I have a real reputation for giving gifts belatedly, at least I can honestly say I knit this one up with oodles of time to spare. Ok, 11 months in advance LOL!! Keep your fingers crossed that I don't forget I knit it and pack it away someplace never to be found again :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Xena's New Bed?

These were so funny I just had to put them up. When I left to my Doctor visit she had scrunched down the one mattress on the futon, I have 2 pads, a thick one and a thin one, and when Xena gets a little chilled, she likes to be under covers. Well, I guess she couldn't get herself buried under the blanket so, like a good crafter, she improvised :)

When I came home this evening, this is what I found. What a nut!! I guess she warmed up. You know what, she has her very own felted kitty bed that she usually sleeps in when she's not in her corner by my feet in my bed, but it's in the window of my little knitting room. Silly Kitty!

Maybe I need to felt a little foam mattress pad for the inside of her bed. Come to think of it, she's in the window when I'm at the computer or on my bulky machine. Guess I really need to make her another felted kitty pie bed since she really just wants to be where I am. Especially since her daddy is in California now, she really feels abandonded and has gotten a little bit clingy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Knit weaving experiment. It looks better in the picture than it does in real life. I'm using a solid for the knit yarn and an icky scratchy ombre for the weave. It looks kind of messy and doesn't appeal to me though. More to come, I've got a dark brown that I'm playing with now.