Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Here!

I just got an email from Allie Hagan (we're besties lol) announcing that IT'S HERE!  You can buy Suri's Burn Book: The Book on  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

I just bought my copy for my Nook.  And I'm getting a personalized bookplate from Suri, which I guess I will slap on my Nook.

Another Pupil for Knitting School!

Tony decided he was going to knit.  And knit he did.  My newest student remembered his childhood knitting lessons/GI Joe blanket skills quite easily and was cranking out garter stitch in no time.  He has ambitious plans which he wants to start IMMEDIATELY: a scarf of 220 stitches.

He and Star Pupil #1 Cara are already in the knitter mode: heading to the yarn store today for project bags and yarn.  My work is done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Knitting School!

Here are my two knitting students working on their GI Joe/Barbie blankets.  Liam has been begging me to teach him to knit all summer.  Al was in the class for about 2 minutes before the needles went flying and he decided Power Rangers on TV was more fun.

So far, we have "worm" size blankets, but Cara & Liam have all the makings of excellent knitters.  Despite having the worst teacher EVER.  A leftie who can't explain how to do anything right handed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Domestic Goddesses (and God)

We are all about the mad ideas.  Yesterday we decided we wanted to make jam.  Of course, we had NONE of the supplies we needed.  So it was off to the produce stand for raspberries (plus blackberries), the hardware store for jars and all the crap you need for canning, and Shopko (our most hated store, but the only one that's close to us) for more supplies.

We ended up with UNO Attack (way fun!) which was not on the canning supplies list.  And we successfully produced 15 jars of raspberry jam.  Plus a blackberry pie.  And have plans for pickled green beans now that we've tasted canning success.  If Cara doesn't find a job real soon, she'll be pulling a little red wagon through the neighborhood peddling jars of jam :-)

This morning, I had a homemade bagel with homemade raspberry jam.  If only I could talk everyone into making butter, this would be a perfect breakfast.

Friday, August 24, 2012

La Boulangerie Longinotti

Le Gang decided to bake bread this morning, no doubt spurred on by the french bread pans we found at an estate sale the other day.

Tony made bagels, which turned out really well (except for the parchment paper stuck on the bottoms)

Here's Chef Cara's very first attempt at baguettes, wow!  They turned out perfectly and we sampled a bit -- could not be more delicious.

I'm getting up at 5 am so I can have toast.  And getting Cara up too so she can start tomorrow's baking.


God, I'm killing it this afternoon.

Here's What I did instead of Working Today

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Greatest Invention Of Our Time

Tumblr.  Hands down.

First we got Suri's Burn Book.  Next came McKayla Is Not Impressed.  And now, this:

Why can't I be this clever?  Oh, well, at least I'm clever enough to find this stuff on Tumblr.

I've Got A Little Pro-Yect

Tony and Cara (our resident mechanics) have been hard at work on the derelict vehicles around here.  With varying results.

 Here's Pooh up to his elbows in the Volvo.  The back is adorned with brand new "Zags Mom" and "WSU Alum" stickers, and it's THIS CLOSE to starting...

The Freelander, on the other hand...we took it out on a test run after the two mechanics had spent hours fixing the mystery leak.  It was looking good...and then the tranny grenaded.

Pretty sure the Freelander is going to be donated to Cars For Charity.  :-(

More Adventures with The Pickers

So Team Plack is really rolling with the Picking of treasures for my store.  My students in thrift store/estate sale picking (Cara and Tony; Pia is too busy and Katie wouldn't be caught dead...) are developing a keen eye for a knitting/crochet pattern and now shove me aside as soon as we enter a thrift store while they head straight to the crafts aisle.

We tried something new last Sunday: an auction.  I've never been to one (at least not one that isn't a highfalutin' fundraising event for some school) so we weren't sure what to expect.  But they advertised "boxes of needlecraft magazines" so we needed no further encouragement to hit the road to Moscow, ID.

It was ... interesting.  On entering the building, we found dozens of tables of "treasures" (aka crap to anyone who wasn't in search of said treasures).  Everything from a hay rake to junk jewelry.  We quickly scoped out our items (only 2 boxes I was really interested in), got our number and settled in.

We were a bit dismayed to realize that MANY of the items were going to be auctioned off individually when the first thing up for bids was a pair of earrings.  That meant that OUR boxes were going to come up at about 9:30 pm unless we acted fast.  So I cornered auction boy Jerome and let him know we wanted to bid on 2 boxes and he brought them up to the front.  About an hour later, we were the winners of a big box of McCall's Needlework mags from the 50s and 60s for ten bucks.  Plus a wheelbarrow that somehow caught our attention, for another ten bucks.

Tony realized a second too late that he really wanted this cool railroad lamp.  Next time, Pooh Bear!

Here's a smidge of video of our auctioneer in action:

I had a great time, I'd definitely go again.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Banner for The New Baby

My niece Caris is expecting her first baby, a little girl named Colie.

the baby shower is tomorrow, so I got to work on my gift.

I have 5 colors of Cotton Classic (blues and purples) to knit a little bunting of 5 flags, with the name "Colie" embroidered on it (a letter on each flag)

I ended up winging the pattern, as I wanted the flags to be smaller than the ones in the pattern I originally chose (which would have resulted in flags about twice the size):

I cast on 20 sts, knit in garter stitch for 20 rows, then cast off 1 st at each edge every other row until 4 sts remained, then cast off.

I embroidered a letter on each flag to spell the baby's name, then crocheted a "string" to hold the flags, working 12 sts, picking up and crocheting across the top of each flag, then working 12 sts.  I turned and worked back across the entire string which formed a nice edge.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Great Pick!

I have two mentees in my thrift store adventures!  Cara and Tony have proven worthy students in the art of the pick and can now be trusted to scour the crafts dept. in any thrift store in search of inventory for my store.

But The Master still rules.  I spotted this awesome card shuffler in the Douglas County Historical Society Thrift Store.  $2.00 cash and it was mine.  Including 4 C batteries and a deck of cards.

UNO has gone electric!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Much-Loved Painting

Team Plack -2 was thrift storing on my birthday when I stumbled across this print.  I HAD to buy it (and it was half price so SCORE)

My sibs will remember this picture hanging in our dining room when we were kids.  It makes me so happy to have the same print now hanging in my dining room :-)

And it's of course a well-loved and famous picture called "Grace" by Eric Enstrom.

Water Feature!

We took a field trip over to Spokane Discount (the "Stupid Prices" of Spokane) today in search of a "water feature" for the bare spot right next to our back deck.

And found this beauty ("The Cantaloupe" as Cara has named it), for 79.99 - 60%.  Woot!  Gently flowing water at a bargain price!  The only cheaper method is to hang a running hose over the side of the deck.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Cara Lee!

Happy birthday to our sweet little Cara L., who is now all grown up and maybe not quite as sweet (but still a softie on the inside)

Born 35 years ago on a day much like today (HOT), eagerly welcomed by all, and as cute as a button.  I still see this little gal with the big shiny brown eyes, one cheek dimple, and sweet smile whenever I look at my Car-Car.

Love you so much doll!  And so happy to have you back here in Spokane!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

World's First Photobomb

Cara and I went through 5 boxes of family photos today (many new blog posts to come as a result)

We discovered the world's first photo bomb:


Who doesn't love UNO!?  It's the perfect card game.  And we've been playing it HARD.  In fact, we need a new deck, ours is getting really worn out (not to mention that little bleeding incident a couple of weeks ago, when I created the new card "Bloody Five")

Our games are fierce.  We nearly came to fisticuffs last night when Katie played a controversial "MOD-OUT" move, where I called the "you forgot to say UNO" as she was slamming her last card down...that win is definitely asterisked...

We have created a leader board for our tourney, and as soon as we find the chalk, scores will be kept and wins will be celebrated.

Here's a breakdown of our tourney styles (with our leader board names):

LAVS: specializes in "Death By A Thousand Papercuts".  Seldom wins, but NO ONE wants to sit next to Lavs.  She will murder you again and again with the "draw 2" "wild draw 4" and the "skip" cards.

PIA/ROTCH: Elusive presence at the card table thus far, as she has way too much of a life.  But when here, she is a fierce competitor.

CARA/DIES: Deadly. Just Deadly.  She does specialize in the "draw 50 cards from the pile until you get the Mod Card", which is a questionable tactic.

KATIE/FOY: The Queen of the well-timed Mod Card.  This Gal is unstoppable when she's throwing down the Mod.

TONY/POOH: The Thinker.  Always thinking.  Venturing close to Big Tony's incredibly slow/irritating pace at cards.  But crafty as all get out.  He has been kind of crabby the last couple of nights, as his win column remains in the zeroes.  We came real close to a repeat of Hadley's "poor sport/knock over the Candyland board" fact, we've had to invoke the Candyland Board taunt a number of times.

Stay tuned for regular updates on the tourney.  It's fiercer than water polo, with more finesse than synchronized swimming, and dirtier than a judo contestant claiming the "accidental pot brownie ingestion".

A Happy Birthday To Me

Yesterday was the big 58 for me.  Funny, I still feel like the same 5 year old inside, it's just the exterior shell that's crumbling...

It was my kind of day :-)  No big foofaraw or glamorous events for Lavs.  Cara, Tony and I headed out to run some errands.  The Pickers got a hunch that we could score big time in Idaho, so we headed over to my regular Post Falls/CdA thrift store route.  And they were right.

I'm training these two in the zen of finding vintage patterns, and they are excellent students.  After an initial shaky start (Pooh Bear was a wee bit leery about entering the possible source of germs.  Cara had a bit of trubs finding good stuff, she kept running into enormous piles of Workbasket magazines), they have proven to be quite the lucky stars for me.  When Tony dons his picking outfit (big old shorts, Walmart Tank Top, floppy brim hat and Sanuk loafers), it's Go Time.

We hit every thrift store in North Idaho, and I came away with piles of stuff to add to my store.  I'm going to be chained to my scanner for the next month.

Anyway, I had a phone call from Peeps, who's in Ellensburg attending a journalism workshop, lots of good wishes from FB friends, and a delish dinner of spareribs, Mimi's potato salad and strawberries & angel food cake.  Plus the gang let me win at UNO.

A perfect birthday.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Family Reunion

Way back in the summer of 1982 or 3 (based on the fact that Baby Tony is still a baby in these pix), the Sundstroms had a family reunion.  This was fairly unprecedented as far as I remember.  At least US being invited to a family reunion was fairly unprecedented.

Some observations:
1. Meg has ALWAYS been a fancy dresser.  Check out the sunglasses on a string.
2. This must have been The Year Cara Cut Katie's Hair.
3. Guy in giant beard, who are you?
4. Pam, you do NOT look happy to be at the reunion, doll.
5. John Patrick Sullivan!  Yay!
6. Mom is younger in this picture than I am now.  I think.  Yikes.
7. Toddie and Grandma in the same picture, that's a rarity.
8. NO idea who some of those kids in the front row are.  Katie in the striped shorts, Meg fancy dresser, Tony Falcone in the red shirt and Kipper in the baseball cap.  Everyone else wandered into our reunion as far as I know.
9. Kirdie doesn't look that thrilled to be there either.
10. Pia and Cara, where are you?  Camp Four Echoes?
11. Some seriously bad hair happening.
12. Uncle Richard and Aunt Lisa! Yay!

List of the Day

If you've been watching the Olympics (and if you haven't been, WHO ARE  YOU), you know that swimmer Ryan Lochte is America's Favorite Douchebag.

And here's why

Lol, this is definitely one of my fave lists.