About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Happy 13th Birthday, Penny!

Happy Birthday to our Penny!

Penny is 13 years old today, the same age as our grandson, Alex.  Of course, in people years, Penny is already 91 years old! 
We had a birthday brunch for Penny on Sunday when Alex and Don could be here to celebrate.
Aunt Catherine made a fabulous meal that we all enjoyed.  Of course, Penny, Erik, and Wendy got some, too. 
After we ate, we moved things around at the end of the living room so Alex and the pups could lie on the floor and watch a movie that Catherine put on for them.
The movie was "The Tuxedo" with Jackie Chan.  We saw this movie multiple times while we were on board the ship, but it's still fun to watch.   
 Alex watched the movie from time to time, but mostly played with the pups.
 I took these snapshots with my phone camera.
 Penny certainly enjoyed all of the attention. These images were taken last Sunday.  She'll have her cake and presents later today.
 It's always a joy to have Alex here.  He has his arm around Wendy as he is watching the movie.  Our sweet Black Lab Erik, Erik, always stays close when Alex is here. 

What a fun day!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nap Time

Good Morning,

One of the advantages of being retired is we can take an afternoon nap once in awhile.  OK, pretty often.  ;)

We aren't able to nap without the security team with us.  Here they all are, all lined up in a row. 

There's no place like home.  And, home is not a home without at least one dog.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Signs of Spring

Good  morning,

We had a wonderfully warm and sunny day this week.  It was good to see signs of Spring in the garden.  Here come the Iris!


Sunday, January 28, 2018

It's a Ruff Life

 Good morning,

It's a "ruff" life here for our pups.  Above is Wendy sound asleep next to me on the love seat in front of the fireplace in the living room.
To keep the scene balanced, this is Penny sound asleep on the matching love seat across from me.

Life is good.  There is so much love here.


Saturday, January 27, 2018


Good morning,

Simplicity is the name of the game for this tunic sweater for Catherine.  She wants a tunic sweater that reaches to the length of her fingertips.  The idea is for the fabric to be loose and swing, so the size of the needles, the stitch, and the yarn have to all work together to produce the desired effect. 

The answer for the stitch is a simple garter stitch.  I've gotten far enough along with this lovely, soft honey golden color yarn to be able to hold it up and "feel" how the fabric swings. 

I think we have a winner here.  But, I also know there is a whole lot of design development for shaping and hours of knitting to go before this one is finished!

All the best,

Friday, January 26, 2018

Wendy's Peanut Butter Bone

Good morning,

Our baby, Wendy, loves her peanut butter bone. 
"Mom!  I think my peanut butter bone needs a refill!"
"I'll just wait here until you take care of that for me, Mom."

Just who trains who here?


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Alarm Clocks

Good morning,

It's hard for Catherine to ignore Erik when he wants to cuddle.  ;)

Catherine is lying on the couch waiting for Mr. Coffee to do his thing and all Erik wants is an extra hug.  Penny is there to get a scratch, too.

It's good to be home!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Christmas (Cactus) Story

Good morning,

For many, many years I had a house full of beautiful plants.  It seemed something was always blooming and color was everywhere. Then, nearly twenty years ago my life changed when I went to sea with My Honey for weeks at a time.  My plants didn't appreciate my absences, didn't do well at all, and most were lost to the compost bin. Now that My Honey has retired and we are home most of the time, I'm building my indoor garden once again. 

I haven't had Christmas Cactus for a long time so was looking for one around the holidays.  I never found one that looked healthy so didn't buy any at all.  Then Catherine went to a Christmas party at a friend's and saw some beautiful Christmas Cactus.  The friend agreed that Catherine could bring me some little cuttings.  The flower you see above came home as a three leaf section from that friend's plant about five weeks ago.  The little section has rooted and even bloomed already!  I think I'm on a roll again to have a beautiful healthy plant.

So, that's my Christmas (Cactus) Story. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Where's the Beef?

Good morning,

Yesterday I made a trip to the post office, then I ran a few other errands.

When I walked through the meat department at Meijer, a package of filet mignon steaks jumped into my basket.  When I got home, My Honey immediately went to work in the kitchen and this is what landed on my dinner plate.

Oh, my, that was good!

Never, never stop a package of filet mignon steaks from jumping into your grocery basket!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Marble Wood Grinders

Good morning,

My Honey finished these turned wood Thumb Powered Salt and Pepper Grinders in his wood workshop yesterday.

This Marble Wood is incredible!  This was a multi-day project.  He sanded and polished it to a smooth finish that feels warm in your hands. What beautiful contrast of color.

I'm hoping to have enough sunshine today to take a series of images so that I can list these in the shop.  I like to take shop pictures in natural sunlight if at all possible.  After formatting the images and writing the listing information, they'll be available online.

All the best,

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Back to Basics

Good morning,

Sometimes we just need a burger.  We went back to basics last night with burgers with onion. 
I had mine with catsup, chopped salad, a taste of potato salad, and a glass of 2% milk.  No bun necessary.  It was quick and delicious.

I'm sure the way I prepared that burger, then pressed the remaining grease out of it with paper towels made it much better than any we could have gotten at a fast food restaurant.

Do you do this?  Quick meal.  Simple food.  Nothing fancy.



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fifty Finished - Thirty To Go

Good morning,

Projects are moving along here as we stay warm inside during this very cold winter. 

The squares for the next Warm Browns Afghan Blanket are stacking up.  Fifth squares are ready to assemble and thirty remain to be finished.  As soon as there are eighty finished to the size you see above, I'll add the final dark brown rounds that will connect them all together and add a scalloped edging to make a bed or couch size afghan blanket. 

In the background of this image is the now-finished back of the burnt orange cables and filigree lace sweater I started some time ago.  The front is now started.  I switch back and forth between projects to give my fingers a rest from the same repetitive movements.  

And the work continues....


Hand Crafted Original and Traditional Designs

Friday, January 19, 2018

More Snow

Good morning,

This is the view out of the door at the back of our living room.  No grilling today!  Generally in Cincinnati snow one day is gone by Noon the next day.  Not this time!  We just keep getting a little more and a little more piling it all up deeper and deeper.  It's a great time to be inside knitting by the fireplace!

We had some family fun a few days ago by having a "picnic" inside while looking out at the snow.  We prepared picnic food and thought warm thoughts.  It was fun. 

In the upper left corner we can see Penny patrolling the "South Forty" and a reflection in the window of a table lamp in the upper right corner.  Penny, Erik, and Wendy don't mind going out in the snow, but they don't stay out very long.

I hope you're staying warm wherever you are!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bird Identification

Good morning,

On our way to an appointment this morning, I spotted a bird that was the shape, but not the color of a male Cardinal.

This bird was brown, not bright red.  It is the same shape and size as a cardinal and was hopping around in brush near the ground.  There was a smaller bird with it that I couldn't see well enough to identify or photograph.

Does anyone have any idea what this bird is?  I'm sorry the picture is so bad, but it beats a blank.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Winter Returns

Good morning,

Sure enough, after that sunny day with dry roads the day before, this greeted us when we woke up yesterday.

The snow didn't stop and is much deeper now.

Welcome to Cincinnati.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sunny Winter Day - Mini Road Trip

Good morning,

There is a saying in Cincinnati:  "If you don't like the weather, just wait for ten minutes.  It'll change."
I took these pictures on Sunday after we had gotten dire weather forecasts for the weekend.
Friday night we got snow and very low temperatures.  Fortunately, the sun came out, the roads are dry, and we were able to go to the Miami Valley Labrador Retriever Dog Club annual luncheon at Belterra Casino with our daughter, Catherine.
Here we're just getting to Belterra which is located next to Riverbend Music Center on the Ohio River.

I didn't take pictures inside the casino, but we had a wonderful meal and spent less than $30 for the entire day for both My Honey and me.  Not bad at all!
It was still light and bright when we headed home. 
 Here we're approaching Cincinnati from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
 That's Catherine in the car in the next lane.  She had to be at the luncheon earlier for a board of directors meeting for the club so we drove separately.
 We're approaching the I-471 bridge between Ohio and Kentucky.
 Can you guess why its nickname is the "Big Mac" bridge?


Monday, January 15, 2018

Cauliflower Soup

Good morning,

It was My Honey's turn to cook dinner and his choice was Cream of Cauliflower Soup.

This was so good!  Of course, the heavy cream had a great deal to do with that. Small portions recommended.  :)


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Catherine in the Kitchen

Good morning,

This was so yummy!  Catherine baked salmon with a sour cream and dill sauce. 

Even with the sour cream sauce, I'm able to keep the pounds off.  I just didn't eat that second helping that was calling my name.  ;)

All the best,

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's Only Just Begun

Good morning,

I took this image last night as the snow began to fall.  This will be a weekend at home, that's for sure!  The rain turned to ice, then to snow. 

The snow continues to fall....

I hope you're warm and toasty wherever you are. 

All the best,

Friday, January 12, 2018

Shopping Day Lunch

Good morning,

Here's one of our favorites.  We were shopping yesterday after a morning routine doctor visit so stopped for lunch at IHop. 

I absolutely LOVE IHop pancakes, especially with all of the fancy toppings, but I can only count those as dessert.  So, I opted for the grilled chicken cobb salad.  I had to remind the server to bring the cheese crumbles so they're not in the picture.

What's your favorite place to stop for a quick lunch while running errands?


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Warm Browns

Good morning,

I love these browns and they'll soon be part of an afghan blanket.  They just looked so pretty in the box as I finished and tossed each one in there. 

Another Warm Browns Afghan Blanket coming soon. 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Testing - New Comforter

Good morning,

We purchased a new comforter for our bed so had to send it to the lab for testing.

No, wait.  The Labs came to the comforter for testing.

The Labs determined the new comforter is very, very acceptable.


Monday, January 8, 2018

A Gray Winter Day - From My Window

Good morning,

Don't let the small amount of snow fool you.  It's still very, very cold out there.

This is the view from my window.  After two weeks of this, we are supposed to get warmer temperatures (above freezing!) beginning tomorrow.  We'll all appreciate it, but the dogs are the most appreciative! 

Although it has been bitterly cold here, we still are so much better off than those living on the East Coast of the US.  We hope they are able to dig out of the snow and enjoy some warmer temperatures soon.

Stay safe and warm!


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Wood Worker at Work

Good morning,

My Honey has been busy in his wood workshop.  He's making beautiful wood cheese slicer/serving boards that are just gorgeous!  These are walnut and maple woods finished to a beautiful smooth surface.
The first two boards finished are spoken for, but there will be more available in the shop in a day or so.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Winter Knitting Work in Process

Good morning,

It has been so cold the past few weeks that knitting while sitting by the fire has become a favorite way to stay warm.

On the left in the image above is an orange sweater I had started some time ago, but put aside to make several custom order items and other items to restock the shop.  I've gotten the sweater back out to work on and also have some new gorgeous soft yarn (right) that Catherine and I picked out together that I'll use to make a sweater for her. 

I have several other smaller projects started, too, that I take along on road trips or while sitting in waiting rooms.  It's good to have smaller projects between the larger ones so I have a break in the action from those time consuming projects.

Also in process now is another crochet afghan blanket in warm browns.  I switch between knit and crochet to give my fingers a rest from the same competitive motions.

What are you making, baking, painting, photographing now?

All the best,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cold? Yes. Snow? Not so much.

Good morning,

It's cold here on the South Coast of Ohio, but the snow isn't so bad.  By the weekend we'll have temps above freezing so this little bit of snow will be gone, too.

We hope those in the terrible storms on the East Coast are staying warm and safe.

Yes, winter is here....


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Keeping the Fishies Alive

Good morning,

We've had severely cold weather in Cincinnati for the past couple of weeks as has most of the USA. Our little gold fish pond freezes quickly so in the winter we keep an electric deicer in it. 

The old deicer only worked when it wanted to so we quickly ordered a new one on line.  It arrived today and I immediately put it to work.  We've managed to keep a thawed area on the top of the pond so the fish will be fine beneath it.  Our gold fish have been living in our pond for years so this is not new for them.

I'm not sure who or what made the little foot prints in the snow on top of the ice, but I imagine they were here looking for a drink of water.  We have a variety of wild critters around here such as raccoons and possums.  We also have some domestic cats that insist on being outside even in this weather.  Since the coyotes have arrived in the neighborhood following the deer, the feral cats have all but disappeared. 

So goes the winter in Cincinnati this year. 

All the best,

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Needlework and Wood Working Update - January, 2018

Good morning,

December was a busy month with the holidays and with filling custom orders for our on line shop, EvensensProductions.com.  Be sure to scroll down to see the new wood items, too.

Above is a Hunter Green Cables and Lace Sweater that has now been delivered.
These Boot Cuffs...
...and Cloche Hat were also custom orders.
I just love these turned wood and gold plate Key Chain Security Whistles.
These are handy to have at your finger tips on your key chain should you ever need to get attention.
We've also restocked the turned wood and chrome seam rippers.
These made a lovely gift for yourself or for anyone who sews, quilts, knits, or crochets. 
This Door Snake was a custom order.  He'll keep the winter chill form getting in under the door or...
...the window.  :)  This smiling fellow has already been delivered and is surely keeping someone's home warm this evening.
This month I made more Toilet Tissue Toppers to restock the shop.
 These are such a pretty way to keep an extra roll of tissue handy.
These last three in blue,
 green, and...
 ...yellow are custom orders that have been shipped.

That's it for another month.  We're already working on new items for the shop.

Thanks to everyone for supporting our shop during 2017!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blogging.  ;)

All the best,

Hand Crafted Original and Traditional Designs