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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

and now...

3pumpkinslittle on Instagram 

  
Saturday
Aug252012

Some sweets.

Before melancholy Sandra took residence, I was a busy little baker.  Lots and lots of cake pops for a neighbor’s niece’s shower.

Pink cake pops

And cupcake “apples” for the staff at our new elementary school.

apple cupcakes

Have I mentioned that our children are headed to a new school this year?  They adored (and I mean adored) their former school—especially their teachers, as did we.  At first, we were heartbroken to hear we were leaving.  But this brand new school is opening within walking distance of our home.  And luckily, it promises to be something very special as well.  

I'm on the inaugural PTO board and we’ve organized all sorts of fun things for the teachers and staff.  Most recently was a luncheon and I offered to bring dessert.  96 cupcakes later, I had these.

apple cupcakes 2

And because I wanted them to be cutely displayed at their luncheon, I assembled tiered stands out of dollar store finds.

apple cupcake stands

Hopefully, the teachers who get Leo and Max this year won’t refer to me as the crazy cupcake lady who has too much time on her hands. 

Sandra

Thursday
Aug232012

Out of it.

Lately, I’ve not been quite myself.  Some sad and tragic events for folks I know have left me feeling rather fragmented.  They are from different walks of my life, yet the news hit one after another.   It is the worst sort of news.  The kind that involves services.  And children reading eulogies.

I’ve discovered the tears come much easier as I grow older.  I’m a flat-out crybaby, as it turns out.  I know that I will never understand why certain things happen.  And I am trying to find grace in accepting such facts of life.  I do not have to look far—there is no finer example than in the faith of the two families affected.  And this, of course, brings tears to my eyes.

To distract me a bit, I think I’ll pick up a challenging knit.  Something with cables and multiple repeats requiring vigilant counting, and heck, maybe even some color work.  That, or I will cast on a stockinette cardi and get lost in some mindless tv.  I’ve said it before but here it is again:  there is no better therapy for me than some wool and some sticks. 

I have one more week of summer with a full house of boys and noise.  I am going to try to slow it down and cherish it.  There is more to life than getting bent out of shape over Legos everywhere (though I maintain that finding them in my pantry is a bit much).

Sandra

Thursday
Jul262012

A couple of things.

Aloha!  I will be digging my toes into the sand and (hopefully) learning how to stand up paddle board this week, but wanted to mention a couple of things before I unplug.

First, I am so thrilled to be guest posting over at the lovely Luvinthemommyhood

My post covers how, after realizing my knitting addiction, I went from newbie to sweater knitter in a matter of weeks.  I know not everyone is as quick to obsess as I am, but hopefully it resonates with some knitters out there.  (And if you happen to be checking in from Shannon's blog, why hello there!  And thanks so much for stopping by).

Next, guess who finished her first KAL sweater just in time to pack for vacation?  Yup--and I absolutely love it.  It is destined to become my go-to layering piece, especially for sundresses.  Notes are here.  I fully intend to take proper shots (on the beach perhaps?) but until then, here's the self-portrait bathroom shot.  I match our shower curtain, how nice.

Well, I guess that's it.  Mahalo everyone...I am off to join Charlie in Hawaii.  Be back soon.

Sandra

Monday
Jul232012

Summer weddings.

Nancy bouq closeup

I had the good fortune to do two floral design gigs recently (I wear many hats you see).  I love summer weddings--especially when a bride embraces color.  Here are some favorites from the two events.  They were on the same day but so different—one was soft and romantic.  The other, bright and fun.  I loved both palettes and the resulting designs.  But most importantly, so did the brides.

Nancys bouquet

Nancys bouq wrapping Grooms bout IMG_3894

The key to pretty flower arrangements?  Er…start with pretty flowers.  And don’t stress about the colors.  They all “go”…

Lisa and Rick reception flowers

Ricks boutL n R sweetheart table L n R reception close up

Caryn and I have slowed down a bit taking on events—life and kids and real jobs and all that.  But every time I get to work with flowers, I must say, I fall in love all over again.

Sandra

Thursday
Jul192012

Red velvet rice krispie treats.

It was just before Valentine's Day, I think, when I first saw red velvet rice krispie treats popping up all over blogland.

Five months later, I finally whipped some up.  I really should not have waited.  Here's how I made mine.

Red Velvet Rice Krispies

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 11 ounces of marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup red velvet cake mix
  • 6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies cereal

Directions

Line the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray generously with cooking spray (lining the bottom is not absolutely necessary but I like the insurance).  Set the pan aside.

Place the cereal in a large bowl— my wide stainless steel bowl worked perfectly for this.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.  After the marshmallows are melted, add the cake mix and vanilla and continue to stir until fully incorporated

Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal (working quickly) and stir and mix until the cereal is coated.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, gently pressing into shape, filling the pan and evening out the top. 

Allow to cool.  Cut, eat, repeat.

Enjoy!  

Sandra

Thursday
Jul122012

Thinking about installing a gallery wall. (after adequate obsessing)

We have a nice staircase that leads to our upper floor.  And more than a few times, our contractor has commented on the width of the staircase--it's evidently a smidge bigger than typical? Makes for a nice feature, he says.  And who am I to argue?

It's got me thinking I should appreciate it more.  Enter the idea of a gallery wall.  We had one in our first house--down the hallway of our one-level ranch--and I loved it.  Plus, I can't ignore the call any longer.  Every design blog I visit seems to showcase one these days.  

But it was actually a couple of years ago, when I first spied Ashley Putnam's home featured in Lonny, that I started obsessing over gallery walls.  Her take was probably the first time I saw an eclectic mix work beautifully in a gallery wall .  Before that, everything seemed to trend towards the Pottery Barn matchy-matchy (which I also like, but I like this more). 

I think a not too fussy arrangement, jam-packed with color and texture, will work really well, considering my current residents.  I want a mix of photos, prints, and artwork.  I've started collecting simple pieces from Etsy and have found some great frames at thrift stores (painting a few orange!), and am checking out several online shops for affordable art.  I also fully intend to incorporate some of the boys' drawings. 

On the upper level, if all goes well, I might do a ton of family prints.

A picture I took last week at the beach will surely make the cut.  

 Oh--and this print--how I love this print (available here).  

It probably won't go on the gallery wall but I think it's a must for the basement play space.  Or maybe the top of the stairs?  Plenty of ruckus happens there, too (Stair Wars, get it?).  Yep. It's perfect.

Sandra

Tuesday
Jul102012

Planters Punch.

Still working on my beach recap post.  I am hopeful I might find time to make another slideshow.  I was thinking of using the song Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.  I came across that song again and have been humming it nonstop.  I think it's so quirky and catchy.  Plus, I like the hook as I truly--and cheesily--feel home is when I'm with "you"--not you you, although I'm sure you're quite nice.  My "you" is Charlie and the boys.

But first, so, so many things left to do--I wish I didn't feel overwhelmed so easily.  Maybe that's why I love knitting so much.  Because I finish things. Recently, it was this sweater.

Test knit for Thea.  My knitterly crush on her and her designs continues. The pattern has a new-to-me construction technique for the neckline.  It's top-down, which I prefer, but she shows you how to get a nice scooped neck.  I dislike many top-down patterns that suppose our fronts are the same as our backs (and mind you, my front is almost shaped like my back and those patterns still don't work well on me).

The pattern is called Planters Punch and includes directions for a summer and winter version.  The recommended yarn for the summer pattern is Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton.  But I felt obliged to stash bust and knit mine out of Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy in a pretty sea foam green.  

The Hempathy turned out a nice, drapey fabric, which was my goal so I knew I'd sacrifice crisp cables.  It's a perfect summer top to throw over white capris or a skirt--I really adore it.  I hope to do a winter version later this year, too.

Info on Thea's pattern is here and my notes are here.

Other WIP updates:  I am still plugging away on my KAL sweater; I started and am almost done with a Stripe Study shawl; I couldn't resist casting on a Rayures (though it will be a long-term knit); and I am finishing up another test knit.  (Most of those are Ravelry links, but I imagine if you've read this much of a knitting post, you have a Ravelry account).

Sandra 

Saturday
Jul072012

Beach break cont'd.

More pics to follow but this one makes me smile--especially when I ran it through some vintage-y photo actions--so thought I'd post.  A steady diet of ice cream + Italian ice + unlimited tickets to Wonderland rides = plenty of hug tackles.  This momma knows the tricks.  

On a more serious note, we learned of the passing of a family friend this week.  Someone very dear to Charlie, and by extension, to all of us.  We are reluctant to accept the sad news, but find much comfort knowing she joins her daughter after being apart for so very long.

As you might imagine, this has me feeling reflective and sentimental.  

Life is so precious.  

Hug who you love.  And do it often.

Sandra

Wednesday
Jul042012

Beach break.

Be back from the beach soon (having a ball).  Until then, happy 4th of July!

Sandra

Wednesday
Jun272012

2012 Summer Sweater Knit Along.

Setting the scene:  me, standing in front of my wall unit that houses my stash, drawers open, glass doors flung wide, just staring.  (for a long, long time)...  

oldest:  Uh, mom.  Whatcha doing?

me:  Thinking.

oldest:  'bout what?

me:  What to knit.

oldest:  For who?

me:  Well, that's part of the thinking, see.

oldest:  And the wall's gonna tell you?

me:  No, silly.  The walls can't talk.  I'm listening to the yarn.

Because yessiree...it's here!  The second Summer Sweater Knitalong hosted by the lovely Shannon, aka, Luvinthemommyhood.  

luvinthemommyhood

I have such affection for this KAL.  It's hard to believe it was only a year ago that I discovered the group on Ravelry and set about knitting my Narragansett.  Since then, I've met and connected with so many wonderful knitters--I truly love my virtual knitting friends and enjoy being a moderator for the group.

I had always read Shannon's blog but it wasn't until I fell for knitting and she began her KALs that we "met"--and I feel so lucky to be a part of the community.  If you're a knitter, hope you're joining the fun, too.  Sign ups and information can be found in this post and in the Ravelry group here. See you there!

Sandra

p.s.  I have three (three!) projects planned for the KAL.  I'm starting with a linen shrug that should be a great knit to take to the beach next week, followed by a lovely pullover, and finally, I hope to at least start a long overdue sweater for Charlie.  I'll post pattern detes and yarn pictures asap.