Friday, March 27, 2009

Tiny Monsters

A few weeks ago I took an impromptu weekend trip to see my brother. I brought back an UglyDoll for Meiby. I picked out a tiny black monster. Do you think they look alike?


sleeping with her Ugly Doll

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CLF Award!

I've been honored with the Set My Picot Free Award from the Crochet Liberation Front for my "wonderful crochet skills" on the previously mentioned Mei-Mei Bolero Jacket! I'm so flattered! Thanks so much :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mei-Mei Bolero Jacket

bolero jacket

I finished my first project from my new copy of Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan last week. I made the Mei-Mei Crochet Jacket as it was a small sweater and I only had 3 skeins of the yarn I wanted to use. The book is laid out in 4 sections with a base pattern for each section and variations on that base. It can be a little confusing to follow because it jumps from page to page a lot but once you figure out how it works it's not too hard. Highlighting the parts you're going to use before starting would be helpful. I'm pretty happy with the results though I still need to add some kind of closure to it (or not, it looks OK without I think.) Now I think it's about time I tackled something with real sleeves!

bolero jacket

Friday, March 20, 2009

All Better

Nick took Mei Bell to the vet yesterday for a follow up and her eye has healed just fine. They also checked her folds, ears, etc. and gave her a little squeeze. They said we're maintaining her well and she's in great health. They did, however, recommend that she have surgery to open up her nostrils and gave Nick an estimate for the procedure. It's not terribly expensive but that's not what I'm worried about. Of course we want her to be comfortable and healthy but I'm not too keen on the idea of putting her under anesthetic and the stress of surgery if it's not absolutely necessary. I think we'll leave her alone for now but we'll keep it in mind.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free Range

Back around Xmas time I mentioned that we were experimenting with leaving Meiby loose while we're gone and she was causing trouble. Well, she was "grounded" for a couple weeks but since then she's been a well-behaved free range pug. I can't even remember the last time we kenneled her upon leaving. As long as we make sure the bedroom doors are closed and there's a fresh puppy pad on the floor, she's a perfect pug-angel ... even over long periods of time. We still crate her at night though. She likes to be in the bedroom with us at night but we just can't have her licking our bedding all night and don't want to risk having her "soil" the bed or the carpet... so she sleeps, rather happily I might add, in her well padded crate at the foot of our bed. She gets a little treat when I put her in there and has a bowl of water and sometimes a toy to curl up with. When we wake up in the morning she's sitting up staring at us waiting for breakfast, sometimes whining a little (or a lot), but she sleeps quietly all night. Now we just need to work on retraining her to go pee outside. The puppy pads were wonderful this winter and if we take one with us somewhere she knows to use it. However, it's getting nice out again and she needs to start going outside again :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kumquat Bread

Last week at the grocery store I spotted a display of kumquats. I'd had them before but it had been a really long time so I picked up a big carton of them. When I got them home I thought, "ok, what do I do with kumquats?" So I looked up some recipes. I ended up settling on Kumquat Nut Bread but during my search I found some reviews of bread recipes. Someone had mentioned that their breads kept turning out heavy and dense, just the problem I had with my last 2 attempts at beer bread. The solution, it turns out, is to use fresh baking powder. My baking powder was several years old and kind of clumpy so I ran out and got some fresh stuff and proceeded to make my kumquat bread and voila! Beautiful, perfect bread!

kumquat bread

Here's the recipe:

2/3 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2 tbsp oil
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
3/4 cup pureed kumquats
3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, eggs and oil.

2. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. (this includes the sugar, I almost forgot this because I generally assume sugar is part of the "wet" ingredients)

3. Add liquid mixture and stir until moistened.

4. Fold in pureed kumquats and nuts.

5. Bake in a greased 8" x 4" x 2" loaf pan in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. (mine was done in about 53 min.)

6. Cool and remove from pan.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friends and Fine Weather

The weather has been so nice lately so Meiby is getting out for lots of W.A.L.K.s (a word not to be used lightly in our house as Mei gets very excited when she hears it.) It's 60 today and likely to top 70 tomorrow! This weekend we had a bunch of friends over, everyone gushing over the pug. How can you not? She just so sweet!

However, we noticed that she was squinting and weeping a lot from her right eye this weekend. We kept watch over it and I held a hot towel over it for a while yesterday which did seem to keep the weeping down for a while. But this morning she was squinting even more so Nick took her to the vet. They dyed her eye and discovered a tiny laceration. They said it's not a big deal and she should be fine in a few days. We just have to administer drops into her eye every few hours and feed her some pain relievers so she won't scratch at it. Poor puggy...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spiral Bag Schematics... coming soon!

I'm working on writing out a pattern/schematics for this purse:

I'm currently working on finishing a larger version of it (with chunky yarn) that's big enough to fit my laptop into. It's really easy and done all in a spiral so there are no seams except at the strap. The one pictured above is made with scrap wool yarn holding 2 strands together to make a thick fabric with changing stripes. Watch for a post probably next week for the pattern and, in the near future, another pattern for a lacy mesh bag (which I need to get more yarn for so I can finish it and post a photo with the pattern.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another top, finally finished...

I started this almost a year ago and put it away when I got tired of making puff stitches with splitty yarn. I finally finished it up about a month ago and am really happy with it. It's a very cute, though somewhat complex pattern by Doris Chan called Lapa. As I've mentioned before, I love shirts/sweaters worked from the top down and this was the first one I tried that way. I've recently discovered that Doris Chan has a whole book full of top-down sweater patterns (Everyday Crochet) which I promptly ordered and am currently anticipating it's arrival.

lapa lace top

lapa lace top

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finished Sweaters

Here is one of the sweaters I've been working on. I finished it a couple days ago and just got around to photographing it. You'll have to excuse the poor lighting I have in my house.
sweet sweater
sweet sweater

And here are some finished pictures of the previous sweater:
chevron sweater
chevron sweater

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fun with "Aunt" Missy

We took Meiby to my parents house yesterday and she had lots of fun running around and stirring up trouble. She has met their dog Missy a few times and they are now starting to really interact. (We policed them a lot the first few times, just in case they didn't get along. We didn't want anyone to get hurt.) Meiby loves my parents house because there is lots of room to run! She attacked Missy's toys, tried to provoke the cat and played lots of "chase me" with Missy.

All 3

Then she got tired and made herself at home on the coffee table...
laying on the coffee table
Happy pug