Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Monday, January 31, 2011


My first attempt with these cupcakes was successful but not outstanding.  I made vanilla cupcakes and filled them with a peach pastry cream that had been lightened with whipped cream and topped the cakes with a green tea cream cheese frosting.  I think I needed to slightly chill the frosting before I attempted to use it so it wouldn't be so prone to melting.  Also the peach pastry cream was awesome on its own but really needed to be more intense in flavor and maybe not fold in any whipped cream.  The green tea frosting was my very first attempt using this ingredient and I think I was too cautious.  I felt the flavor was strong but hubby, my ever so willing tester, thought it needed to be stronger to stand out.  All in all, a delicious cupcake; however, I will be tweaking it more before I do it again!  Here's the end result - pardon the poor lighting and the sloppy frosting technique!

I've finished the cabled neckwarmer, pics to follow soon!  My next project is a hat of my own design for a church friend.  I'll include those pics later, too :)  Notice my current read - the anthology of the first three scrap-booking mysteries by Laura Childs.  I'm really enjoying myself so far!

Until next time, stay safe and happy knitting (and baking)!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hand Spun Scarf and Yarn Along

Here I am posting again for Ginny's yarn along :)  If you haven't hopped on over to small things then I highly recommend it!  I love the idea of combining two things I love so much together!  And, I also love having to be accountable for my hand knits!  It's so much fun posing my knits along with my current read to get just the right picture.  Hopefully I have that here and if I win the yarn give away?  So much the better!

The first spindle full knit into half a scarf - current read was a National Geographic!

Just finished Monday evening!

My very first hand spun yarn made into the ugliest scarf - yet I LOVE it!
Currently reading the 16th installment of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries, Sizzling Sixteen.  Such a funny series!  I've enjoyed every one and it is one of the rare series to make me laugh out loud while I'm reading ;)  Hubby doesn't even have to ask what I'm reading, he just knows!  

I'm doing something light and entertaining now because this weekend I have to start in on my Bible study reading and I can't do light and serious at the same time!  We're doing the book of Acts using Acts for Everyone Part One by N.T. Wright in our Tuesday night small group.  Hubby is in this one with me and I'm going to enjoy reading the assignments to him!  I'm also a table leader for our woman's group and we'll be doing Esther using Beth Moore's Esther study guide and DVD every Wednesday morning for the next 10 weeks.  I've already done it and it's a great study!  I'll try to fit in some light and non-thought provoking reading at some point.

Still working on my reversible cable neck warmer.  Got very distracted with learning how to spin then knitting a scarf out of my own hand spun!  

Stay safe and happy knitting!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sweet Saturday :)

Since I've been feeling better I decided to clean up the kitchen this morning and do a bunch of dishes that were in desperate need of cleaning.  Once that was done and the counters cleaned and disinfected I decided there was nothing else to do but break out the cookbooks!  First things first, I wanted to try this luscious looking recipe from Tracey's Culinary Adventures blog.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes topped with brown sugar buttercream frosting and filled with cookie dough - how can you go wrong!  I took Tracey's advice and cut the recipe down.  Twenty four cupcakes with all that richness would go to waste in the this house!  So I halved it with the idea that I would bring some to friends tomorrow and let them get the sugar jitters!  Anyway, the recipe was a huge success and the fam loved them.  Hubby is not a big chocolate fan so even though he was kind enough to be a guinea pig for me he probably won't have any more.  He said they were really good just not for him :)  Such a nice man!  Son LOVED them and Dad said they were very rich but very good.  High praise coming from him!  So they will be added to the Recipe book I've been working on with a note stating they are best when made for special occasions :)  Here's some pics:

I put a little sanding sugar on the frosting for sparkle

The mini chocolate chip cookies I made weren't mini enough - I had to cut them in half - but it works!
The only other thing I would say about these cupcakes are they are fairly time consuming to make.  The filling does need at least an hour for chilling and during that time the cakes will cool down enough to frost but there are still three levels to the recipe.  They would be great made a day ahead and frosted on the day they were consumed.  Overall I really loved this recipe even with the time issue and a four year old tugging on my leg asking if I was done yet!

Here's one last pic, it's the last of my dried oregano from last season :(  Once this is gone I'll have to wait for spring.  I use a LOT of oregano - it's by far my favorite seasoning!

Stay safe and have a lovely weekend!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Friday :)

Storm 1 which blew through last Wed dumping over a foot of snow but making a good base.

Day after Storm 2 which was an ugly combo of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain...

...then froze everything up.

This morning, Storm 3...

This afternoon, still snowing, but starting to clear on the horizon.
Welcome to stormy weather in Maine!  Today is the perfect example.  It started snowing about 3am and is still going on now with a hint of clearing skies and sun peeking out on the horizon.  We've got about 8" on top of what was dumped during the other two storms during this week!  Plus school has been canceled twice and released early for those of us moms who aren't quite as nifty or creative with things to do or patient in general, we aren't quite as excited by the prospect of the lovely little ones being home for so long!  And I say that with all the love in my heart because my little wild man is most precious to me - but I appreciate him more when he's had a productive morning at preschool!  LOL!
Here's a few more pics of a new hobby I've just I need another one of those!

Drop spinning!

With some gorgeous natural fibers like alpaca, llama, wool and a beautiful wool/silk blend :)

Just look at that roving!

I'm sure I have some type of attention deficit because I jump from one thing to another.  Learning how to knit was supposed to offer a measure of patience and discipline so what the heck was I thinking when I signed up for a spinning class of all things!!!  I knew I was doomed when I walked in and saw this handsome hunk of an angora rabbit being groomed of his lovely silver gray fur.  Then I noticed all the batts and raw wool lying all over the room just begging to be touched!  Then when the instructor said all we were going to do was handle this luscious fiber and spin?  After the first hour I seemed to pick it right up.  And carry it through to today where I'm still improving...!  Wow!  Now I'm dreaming about when I'm good enough to make my own hanks and D Y E them!  My poor hubby just rolls his eyes at me when I mention maybe we should think about getting an angora bunny or maybe angora or cash goats!  What can I say?  Feed the fiber frenzy!  And, I'm very lucky to know a lady who's been spinning and teaching spinning for over 20 years and she's offered her time and roving and wheels to teach me how to do it properly!  I'll be visiting her next Friday for a couple hours of tutoring and playing :) 

Next up, will I finally give in and learn to sew?  That question will have to wait for another day!

All right, I've dallied long enough.  Time to get back to spinning and more knitting!

Stay safe everyone and happy fiber-ing!


PS - Pardon the photo at the top of my seems I've lost all my formatting and can't get it to center properly or stay behind my blog title :(  I really should check out Wordpress or invest in my own design!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yarn Along

Still working on cabled neck warmer :)

Sox is very interested in what I'm doing!
Joining in on this week's Yarn Along from small things!  Afraid I'm still working on the same cabled neck warmer - pneumonia saps all the bits of energy it can so I haven't done much for about a week now.  I have moved on to two new books!  Heaven has a Blue Carpet by Sharon Niedzinski is a funny, spiritual, and truthful account of a her journey into sheep farming and the parallels she finds between sheep and humans in God's eyes.  Death by Design is an anthology of the first three Scrapbooking Mysteries by Laura Childs.  I loved her Tea Shop Mysteries so I thought I'd give this series a try :) 

We've had one storm after another here in Southern Maine and yet another big one reportedly rolling in on Friday.  Means wild man hasn't had school and we are both bummed about that!  He really loves going and I love the peace I get for the four hours he's in preschool - LOL!  I love being a stay at home mom but I admit to not being the most creative with activities for the poor guy!  I'm just so happy he loves school and I pray he'll keep loving it :)  I won't stay long energy level is dropping fast and I still have the afternoon with the wild man.  I need to limit his time on the DS so he doesn't fry his little brain!  Let's see if I can get through it unscathed and with enough juice left to make supper and maybe knit some this evening!

Stay safe and happy knitting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Verdict is in...

It's pneumonia.  I finally couldn't take it anymore, especially after practically coughing up a lung last night, so I went to the clinic this morning and the nice Dr tut-tutted me, gave me a prescription for Zythromax and ordered me to take it and Mucinex and get some rest.   HA!  Not with a 4 yr old!  Anyway, I'm hoping to get my taste buds back soon because I really miss tasting food :)  

Finished Dyer Consequences and started Fleece Navidad the next in the Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton.  Such a great little series!  Still plugging away at the reversible cable neckwarmer.  Slow progress because my energy level has been so low lately. 

Little man should be home anytime now so I'm off for a few minutes more of quiet time before he blows in!

Stay safe and happy knitting!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dad's Birthday

My dear Papa Bear has turned 80!  So I thought I'd make him this fancy pants cake along with one of his favorite meals to celebrate.  The meal turned out great!  I mean how can you mess up ham, potatoes and carrots?!  Anyway, the cake came out wonderfully except the ganache frosting didn't harden up the way it was supposed to...the recipe indicated if I chilled it, it would thicken and I could spread it like a frosting.  It didn't thicken in time and when I poured it on top I had already seated the cake on a cake plate.  So the ganache pooled around the base of the cake.  It looks messy but it tasted fantastic!!!  So I guess I can chalk it up to experience and now I know what NOT to do :)

Here's the photographic evidence:

Cooking the cranberries for the buttercream filling

Successfully baked chocolate cakes

Remains of the cranberry buttercream filling

The filled cake

Finished product with happy Dad :)

Inside and messy outside - amateurish but getting better!
Next time the filling won't be as thick and the ganache will be poured when the cake is on a rack.  Then I'll cool it down and pour another layer of ganache so it will be thicker.  Either that or I'll chill the ganache down overnight so it thickens up enough to frost the cake.  It was my first experiment with a fancy pants cake and overall I'm very pleased!!!  And everyone really enjoyed it :)

On the knitting side, here are some finished objects sans the hubby sweater!  I can't catch him with it on long enough to photo it!  I may have to have him don the sweater with the express purpose of getting some nice shots :)  Here we go:

Double bump dishcloth - pattern from Ravelry

Nate's mitts - the color is off - they are deep red and dark gray

Current knitting and reading

Ponytail Hat - improvised and fiddled with and my very first design!
I can't wait to see if the ponytail hat is what my friend's daughter is looking for.  The button unbuttons and goes under the pony tail to fasten on the other side.  Took me a while to figure out button placement and how long to make the slit for the ponytail. 

I'm loving my current project - I've modified the Palindrome pattern from Ravelry to make myself a buttoned neck warmer!  I love this pattern and have made several scarves out of it.  It's nice to have something that looks good on both sides :)  I had only a little bit of this gorgeous yarn that's now discontinued, Reynolds Caviar - less than 150 yds) and decided I would make myself a neck warmer.  It's coming along beautifully!  

The book I'm reading is the 5th in Maggie Sefton's series the Knitting Mysteries, Dyer Consequences.  I love this series!  It's fun and the characters are enjoyable - it's a good read to snuggle up with a cup of tea on a snowy winters day :)

Well, I'm off for now - just made a lovely baked mac and cheese and even though I still don't have my taste buds back from this nasty long lasting cold, I'm going to do my best to enjoy it!  Will try to post some pics of the the storm later :)

Stay safe and happy knitting!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RE Stinkin Winter Colds

Still stupidly resisting the Drs and still stupidly suffering through this never ending winter cold!  Cough is still there but better and nose is still stuffy but better...only microscopically. *sigh*  I know, I know - I should have seen the Dr last week.  When will I learn?  Now I'm off to bed to try to dream it into non-existence...

Stay warm and safe and happy knitting in this snowy weather!!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Letter to the Editor

Dear Flu/Cold/Bug Thingy,

I'm lodging an official complaint.  You've stuck around nearly 2 weeks now and for the last three days have made my life a miserable H E double toothpicks.  You were nice enough to leave my chest (mostly) but then you migrated into my nose and sinus' and that's where I have to draw the line.  I've done nothing but sneeze and blow my nose all day today and I've had it! It's time for you to move OUT!  If you do not comply within 24 hours I will have no choice but to take you to a professional for extraction. 

Thank you very much for your cooperation - NOT!

Best Regards,

The AnxiousKnitter

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stinkin' Winter Colds

I've been miserably fighting this nasty chest cold for over a week now and while it is getting better it is only getting better millimeters a day *sigh*  It gets in the way, can't walk across the parking lot without wheezing and gasping for breath.  Then I have to have cough it out before I can catch my breath which brings up gobs of truly nasty business.  Then the nose turns on...and runs...and runs...and runs!  I feel like I've been run over by a bus!  Not that I know what being run over by a bus feels like but it must be close to how I feel!  I can't remember if I should feed a cold and starve the flu or feed the flu and starve a cold - either way nothing is working.  Maybe the massive amounts of tea I've had will begin to drown it out.  Of course seeing a Dr might go a long way to improving things but that's just silliness talking!  I'd much rather whine about it and cough and sniffle then fix it - may as well have a little fun :)  

Double bump dishcloth is done and I've cast on for the pony tail hat.  I've had some ideas about that hat and I'm very excited to see how it comes out.  The yarn is a beautiful deep hot pink and really squishy so I hope the finished product is approved of by the teen I'm making it for.  I still need to get my man to pose in his hubby seems to be cold enough now for him to wear it for the camera!

Thinking about starting a new book list.  Didn't read as much as I would have liked last year so I'm going to go back to the previous years goal of reading 50 books in a year.  I squashed that goal but failed last year's of reading 75 books.  Used to be that reading 75 books would take place of just one summer, never mind a whole year!  Now it's a struggle!

Off to gulp down another cuppa tea in the hopes I will drown whatever is flailing around and therefore avoiding Dr's office.

Stay safe and happy knitting!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Knitterly Thoughts

I knit with such a frenzy in the last three months that I'm almost *gasp* knitted out!  In fact, my brain's been so fried the best I can do at the moment is a dishcloth and that is taking me more than a week!  But there is light at the end of the tunnel - after the dishcloth is finished, I'll be designing and knitting my own version of a pony tail hat.  I've researched patterns and haven't found anything I really like so I thought "why not!"  I have a friend whose daughter wants one in bright pink.  I have the yarn, Full o' Sheep in Peony.  I can't wait to get started!  So I guess I'll have to finish that dishcloth soon!

After the hat, I'll be starting a neckwarmer using Reynolds Caviar yarn in a gorgeous purply blue with a gold thread.  I'm hoping it will be stunning!  So this is my plan for January so far...  I'm also hoping to learn how to spin a little bit later this month.  A friend let me know of a beginner's class that is a one night only thing and I'm pretty interested!  Even if it's only to learn something new and I never do it again, at least I will have tried something different!  Yay, me!

Ok, keeping this short today - the wild man is patiently (not) waiting for me to play Donkey Kong with him :)  LOL!

Be safe and happy knitting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Welcome 2011!!!

I hope you turn out to be a great year with many opportunities for growth and plenty of fun!  So many milestones this year - my dear Dad is turning 80 in a few days, my dear son will be 5 this summer and he'll be starting Kindergarten, my dear hubby will be 40, his lovely Mum is turning 70 and my wonderful SIL 50 :)  Plus hubby and I will be celebrating our 18th Anniversary!  So many markers to meet with joy!  I look forward to it all!

Hubby, Wild Man and Auntie - creators of the awesome Frosty!

Too darned cute :)


Aren't I the handsome one!

Happy New Year, Frosty!

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris