Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Texas Bowl

We are big college baseball fans. We've had season tickets to Rice baseball for 9 years now. This is the first year that we bought football season tickets and, my guess is, we'll be season ticket holders for another! The Rice Owl football team (members of Conference USA) went 9-3 in the regular season. They were invited to the Texas Bowl. Convenient as it is the hometown bowl. The game was held December 30 at Reliant Stadium home of the Houston Texans. Yep, we were there.

Reliant Stadium -- a really big place!

Bronze bull "dressed" for the season.

Rice Owls meet the Western Michigan Broncos (also 9-3).

This is a picture after the game. They've spent the week together at lunches, dinners and press conferences. They got to know each other. I really like both teams
getting together to congratulate each other
on a game well played.

I'm happy to report that the Owls won the game 38-14
for their 10th win of the season. It's been a
very long time since the Owls have seen such a
successful season. It's the Owls' first bowl win
since the 1954 Cotton Bowl game. 10-3 matched
the school single season record of 59 years ago.

Fireworks after the game.

As Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle wrote:
"Rice wants to be a winning program that challenges
its kids academically and athletically."

That's why we are fans.

Go Owls!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unfinished Knitting

Now that all the holiday crochet projects are done and sent on their way (dolls and pot holders), I reached into the closet to see what knitting projects were left unfinished. I started this one last spring. I wanted a light wrap to wear inside. Houston always has the air conditioning running and it gets cold in buildings. I liked this pattern immediately. It is a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton Lacy Stole (Pattern Number: 70337AD). I went searching for the Lion Brand Cotton in town and when I couldn't find any I decided I would use Bernat Satin Sport. I love the light weight, snuggly feel of this yarn and the Jade color.

One of the reasons I picked this pattern is that is was marked Easy+. I should have known the secret was in the + ! I can't tell you how many times I frogged the first eight rows. Enough that I finally said *to heck* with it and decided to just keep going. So what if I made a mistake. The first try at a pattern is always mine, and I didn't care if I could see the mistakes! I also remembered a story about Navajo weavers -- they always make an error in the weaving so that the evil spirits have a way out of the rug. I must have really built up some bad karma -- there are lots of ways for evil spirits to get out of this stole! When the stole is finished and blocked, I'll show it to you again.

Here's a project I'm finishing up. The other two pieces are done. Can you guess what this is? You'll have to come back in the New Year to find out. I can tell you all about it on January 19!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

From our House to Yours

Enchanted Forests and Fairy Tale Magic

Festivals of Light

The smell of wood smoke, cinnamon and cloves, baked potatoes,
apple cider, tangerines, oranges, balsam and fir.

A Favorite Ornament
Precious Memories

Rebirth of the Sun
Return of Light and Life
The Birth of Something Precious and Holy

Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings you happiness ...
May it be yours this Holiday Season and throughout the coming year.

Many Blessings To You

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mail Art Surprise!

Look at the surprise I found in my mailbox the other day. MAIL ART! It's from one of my favorite people - Sharon at All Norahs Art. I danced around the living room ooooohing and ahhhhhing. I think Mr. Dragon thought I had finally "lost it". It was several days before I could bring myself to open the package. I worked very carefully so that I wouldn't mess up the mail art.

Look what I found inside. Napkins! Sharon's blog site was one of the first I listed in my favorite links (before the list got out of hand). Her tutorial on using napkins is wonderful and if you haven't seen it you should! Sharon is an inspiration to so many. I'm just thrilled with my surprise package. Napkins are wonderful (and I promise to put them to good use), but the real treasure -- look carefully -- some of Sharon's sisters. Oh, my! I think I'll go dance around the living room again! Thank you, Sharon (and Norah).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Links For You!

It's time for a little catch up. I really haven't been missing in action. We finally got the art work back up on the walls downstairs. Mr. Dragon is painting one of the bedrooms upstairs that had some drywall/plaster work done. I've spent way too much time reading blogs, but have enjoyed every minute. It's been sorta like *down time* seeing what everyone else is doing.

One of the blogs I check in with every now and then is Sorta Frugal. She had a wonderful post about finding a forgotten Christmas treasure backed away in a box -- a wonderful little paper angel. Not long after I read her post I was looking in a closet and found my own forgotten treasure in a box. Not sure I would call them a treasure, but they are cute! When we were living on Galveston Island, I had a *Santa's Box* -- a box I kept in the closet that I used to put small little gifts that I would buy throughout the year -- things I found on sale. I used these little things as hostess gifts, secretary gifts. Nothing much, just a little something nice that said *I remember you*.

Opening the *Santa Box* I found these tins -- Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Mr. Snowman. Their heads pop off and you can put candy or little trinkets on the inside. What was amazing to me was what I found on their bottoms -- MADE IN THE USA -- with a 1981 date. They are in our living room today and I promise, I won't forget them again.

This is *Zoe Nathan's Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake*. Doesn't it look delicious? Some of my favorite things in this cake: cranberries, orange zest, cornmeal, ricotta cheese. I love The Wednesday Chef web site and I think you will too. Check it out. Isabelle is very entertaining.

One more link for you for the holidays (or any day). Check out Eddie Ross. He has suggestions for hostess gifts and a tutorial for making a wreath.

I have to add one more link for you. My friend Julie is a digital scrapper and she has a wonderful set of Christmas tags for you. I'm not a scrapper, but I can really use new gift tags! Check her out at Julie It Is.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

5 A Day

I was visiting Leah today. She had been tagged to take part in the Mindapples project telling the world what five things you do that help keep you mentally well.

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post telling your readers five things you do that help keep you mentally well.
  • Link to the Mindapples site.
  • Invite five blog-friends to do the same (if you want to)

And that’s it.

I've decided to list my five things that calm/ground me, but I'm not going to tag anyone. Play along if you like.
  1. I like to meditate.
  2. Walk around the neighborhood.
  3. Listen to music - usually with a Celtic flavor.
  4. Be creative. That might mean playing with paint, working with yarn, cooking.
  5. Reading. Keep the little gray cells active!
  6. Stay interested in life! Get up in the morning and welcome the day.
  7. Opps -- guess I've gone over 5!
It's not 2009 yet, but already the January calendar is getting busy. I enjoyed Creative Everyday so much in 2008 that I signed up for Creative Everyday 2009 (check out Leah's blog). Jamie at TNC is starting a new book in January - Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women. I'm sure it will be as much fun as Soul Coaching was -- not to mention good for me, too! Paulette Insall has a new journaling class that starts January 5. The Houston Zoo is starting off its wild life lectures in January with cotton top tamarins and I have a short, 15 minute presentation for the docents early in the month. Wow! That should keep me busy. Perhaps I should add number 8 above: Keep Busy. Then there is no time to get flustered!

Seeing the little Christmas tree widget counting down the days to Christmas reminds me that time moves quickly. Make every moment count. Embrace every moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Handmade Christmas

How about some handmade (crochet) Christmas potholders?

Christmas Tree




I think the wreath is my favorite. They are doubled making them extra thick. I think they will look very nice on the table this Christmas. Those of you who are looking for your box from Twisty Lane, don't read this post! The patterns are available from The Crochet Village and Annies Attic.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Old Town Spring

Our girls craft day was canceled again. Last time it was Hurricane Ike that delayed things. This time our hostess had walking pneumonia and my other buddy was stuck at home getting a new fence (the old one knocked down by Ike). Someday we will get together! Hopefully soon.

Mr. Dragon and I decided to drive out to Old Town Spring. As far as we can guess, it has been at least twenty years since we last made this journey. Amazing! I remembered it fondly and thought since it was holiday time, it would be a treat and the shops would be decorated. Our little trip was fun. Neither of us remembered the Old Town being as large as it is today. Street after street of little shops.

Old Town Spring was decorated for the holidays.

Old Town Spring has a magazine and map that we quickly took and marked out our afternoon. We decided The Little Dutch Girl was a definite stop. They make fudge -- all kinds. We came home with a 1/4 pound of four different flavors - chocolate chocolate, chocolate walnut, maple nut and pumpkin. You read that correctly PUMPKIN. The Pumpkin was my favorite. Delicious! Definitely worth the drive! Now I have to find a recipe for Pumpkin fudge.

We couldn't resist the toy store.

Another toy store window.

This was my favorite shop. Metal, Petals and More. They have two shops filled to bursting with metal, antiques, flowers, candles (favorite candle was Snapdragon) -- you name it they have it. My favorite pieces were the wonderful metal holiday decorations.

Metal, Petals and More

Metal, Petals and More

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home had the most delicious aroma when we opened the front door. They have wonderful coffee. One of the local television stations was filming in Old Town Spring and the camera man and young woman reporter were here warming up with coffee.

Mr. Dragon gets points. Old Town Spring is definitely a girly place. We had lunch at Ellen's. The food was very good although we waited over an hour before we were served. For the longest time, Dick was the only male in the place. Soon there were two more gentlemen -- both looking as if they had no idea what they had gotten themselves into. Mr. Dragon was well aware of what he was getting into and went along anyway! What a guy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crochet, Mixed-Media, Free Patterns!

Let's start with the free patterns! Caron yarns is celebrating Christmas with a Twelve Days of Christmas email. Each day for twelve days they are sending out a free knit or crochet pattern. The first pattern was for a red stocking for the front door. Hurry over and sign up for the newsletter and start receiving these patterns. The Connections archives are at the bottom of the page and you can find the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas patterns there. Enjoy!

The Gwendolyn dolls are finished. I made the red/orange one first. Then the blue/purple big sister. Same pattern (Gwendolyn), but with some hook size changes. I didn't put an edging on the little sister skirt, but I did on big sister so you really see her pantaloons. Their eyes are black faceted plastic beads -- cheaper than buttons and easier to find. They were a lot of fun to make and I think my little girls in California will enjoy them.

Listen With Your Heart is finally finished. I took the background class with Paulette Insall, Hurricane Ike came ashore, then the destruction/construction/painters were busy and all the art work, art supplies, craft stuff, yarn -- was under plastic -- some still is. Our part of the painting of the walls isn't finished. Mr. Dragon had to set up a studio in the wash room on top of the washer and dryer to get his homework for his art class done.

I'm very happy with Listen With Your Heart. The background is a little busy, but that's okay. With my notes from Paulette's class and this piece, I will remember all the things I learned! I'm ready for the next project already making its way around my little gray cells, but it will have to wait. Girls Day is coming up this week. Finally! I'm getting together with my two best buddies to craft, bead, paint and shop. Yipppeeee!