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, February 28, 2018

Waiting Room Knitting

Good morning,

This is my current "waiting room knitting" project.  I love the freedom of being able to work on a small project while away from my home studio.  I create the designs as I go so there's no pattern to drag along.

It's amazing how much I can accomplish in waiting rooms.  I guess I could play games on my phone while waiting, but this is so much more productive.  That doesn't mean I don't play games on my phone once in awhile.  ;)

 When this hat is finished, it'll be available in the shop.

Do you take portable craft projects with you when you're on the go? 

All the best,

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Boy Who Loves Dogs

Good morning,

Our grandson, Alex, loves our dogs.  He's a little shy in this image, but he sure is having fun with two of our three dogs on our couch with him.   Our third Dog, Penny, is about as close as she can get next to the couch.

So cute!



Monday, February 26, 2018

The First Daffodils

Good morning,

Finally!  After days of rain we had some sun yesterday afternoon.  The Daffodils are ready to burst into bloom!
There will be so many so soon!  Yay!


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Blue Blossoms

Good morning,

Another patch of flowers is blooming to become a new afghan blanket. This one will be a Blue Woodland Flowers design, reminiscent of blue flowers covered with dew and blooming in a woodland meadow.

This is so much fun working with colors and designs to create new and different items! 

Stay tuned!


Saturday, February 24, 2018


Good morning,

More beautiful signs of Spring are appearing daily.

We are having tremendous amounts of rain here in Cincinnati and the Ohio River is climbing out of her banks.  The rain and warm weather are bringing the Spring flowers very quickly. 



Friday, February 23, 2018

Warm Sunshine on a Beautiful Girl

Good morning,

This is our Wendy enjoying the warm sunshine and temperatures in the 70's F after a week that included an ice storm and snow.
It seems the dogs are as impressed with the wide weather swings we are having at this time of the year as we are.

For Wendy this was a day to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.

What a pretty girl.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

First Blossoms

Good morning,

This week the warm weather brought the first crocus blossoms, a sure sign of Spring!
I remember dropping the little bulbs that produce these flowers into the ground nearly 40 years ago.
There is a honey bee on the flower at the very top of the image above. What a welcome guest!  I didn't get a chance at a second shot at a better angle.

So pretty!

All the best,

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Waiting Wendy

Good morning,

That's sweet little Wendy waiting at the top of the stairs.  She's trying to tell us it's bed time.

We're coming, Wendy.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Black and White is Back

Good morning,

I made a large Black and White Afghan Blanket this winter and it sold out immediately after it appeared in the shop.

So, I've just finished another in this raised circle textured design.  This design in black and white is so very classy and eye-catching!

Click the image to see more views.

All the best,

Original and Traditional Hand Crafted Designs

Monday, February 19, 2018

Peach Crepes

Good morning,

Catherine made crepes for brunch yesterday and they were wonderful!  The crepes were "dessert" after delicious omelettes. 

We "rolled our own" crepes at the dining room table.  I took these images as Kjell made his.  That's peach filling on a very thin warm crepe.
He rolled up the crepe...
...and added whipped cream.  I had to take that picture quickly because it didn't last long!

This was marvelous!  :)

Thank you, Catherine. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dalmatian Wannabee

Good morning,

Here's Erik trying to look like a Dalmatian.  He is an interesting study in black and white, don't you think? 
Actually, I opened the kitchen door to snap a picture of the huge snowflakes coming down and Erik had to go out and inspect them himself.

Erik was sorry the snow wasn't deeper and didn't last longer.

I think he really likes to go out and get wet in the snow and rain because he knows I'll give him a rub down with a big towel when he comes in.

Erik is a smart guy.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Best Friends

Good morning,

Our best friends are also best friends to each other.  Penny, age 13, and Erik, age 8, are cuddled up together on our bed. 

So precious; so very sweet.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Blue Orchid

Good morning,

This is the lovely blue orchid that is a Valentine gift from My Honey.

The blue is created by adding coloring to the roots that is transported to the flowers when watered.  The result is quite pretty.  It will be interesting to see how much blue remains after a few years and the next blooms appear.

Thank you, Sweetheart.  What a lovely gift.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wendy's Weekend

Good morning,

Last weekend our Wendy participated in Canine Performance Events (CPE) and made a sweep of ribbons!  Out of eight events she took first place in six and second place in one. 

Congratulations to Wendy and her trainer, Catherine!

We are so proud!

Love you,

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day
We hope you have a lovely day with those you love.
Image:  Our African Violet in Bloom this week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Watching Winter

Good morning,

Our Sweet Wendy is watching winter from the inside.  I love this image of her in the sunlight.
I took these images on the second day of extremely icy streets. Only one car had ventured out there.  The trees stayed covered with ice for more than two days which is unusual here.  Generally the morning sunlight quickly melts the ice on the smaller branches, but our winter wonderland lasted longer.

All the best,

Monday, February 12, 2018

No Grilling Today

Good morning,

We recently had an ice storm that looked quite pretty, but also dangerous for anyone who wanted to walk or drive.
I went outside to get logs for the fireplace and found these photo opportunities.

We generally grill year round, but we'll pass today.
 We'll use a fireplace inside today.
 No smoking today, either, but in a few days it'll be well above freezing and all of this ice will be gone.

Stay warm!  Spring is on the way!


Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Place of My Own

Good morning,

Miss Penny retreats to one of the kennels from time to time to take a nap.  She's curled up with the giant tug rope toy that all three pups can enjoy at the same time.  She looked so sweet I had to take her picture.

We have always kept open kennels available for the pups when they want to "get away from it all" for awhile, especially when the grand kids are here.  The kennel doors stay open and the kids know to let the dogs have their space to rest whenever they are in there.  When the pups emerge, they are ready to engage and play again.

Soon Spring will be here and they can spend more time outside playing, too!


Saturday, February 10, 2018

My Honey's New Toy - Preview

Good morning,

My Honey got a new CNC wood working machine and he is having a marvelous time with it!  Computer (or computerized) numerical control (CNC) machines are used to create parts of tools by utilizing computers to precisely machine materials into desired forms.

The machine came in pieces...
...that he put together. 
The machine includes multiple motors.  He can design on his computer and send the patterns to these motors.  He's able to engrave, make inlays, relief carvings, and so many other things now.  Of course, it all takes practice. 
His very first project to see if he could program the machine was this.  Great!  He's already designing more complicated items.

I'm looking forward to all the beautiful things he will make with this. 

Stay tuned!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Portraits of Wendy

Good morning,

A few days ago I was moving chairs around so I could vacuum the living room.  After moving this chair I turned around and suddenly Wendy was sitting in it looking at me as if to say,
"I'm ready for my photo shoot."
"Aren't I beautiful?"

Yes, Wendy, you are beautiful.

Love you,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Orchid Buds

Good morning,

I get so excited about our plants, especially when they bloom.  This is an orchid stalk getting ready to bloom into it's glory. 

I got a text this afternoon from Aunt Carol that her kalanchoe (rooted cuttings I gave her for her birthday last November) is blooming with beautiful red flowers.  Because of an accident in the dining room, my "parent plant" was knocked over and some of the pieces broke off.  I rooted them and gave them for Carol who now has a beautiful blooming plant, too.  Lovely!  The parent plant continues to grow.  Now if I could just get it to bloom again!  ;)

How are your house plants doing this winter?


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

All Dressed Up and Ready to Go!

Good morning,

Our pups are modeling their new collars so I can take pictures before they go to the dog club to play for the evening.  Above is Wendy wearing her new Lady Bug collar.
Erik is the "Money Man" since his knee surgery since the beginning of last year.  This collar is just right for him!
And, our sweet senior Penny is our sunshine so, of course, she has a "You Are My Sunshine" collar.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How It's Done - Stained Glass Flower Afghan Blanket

 Good morning,

I've just finished another afghan blanket for the shop.  This time, I took pictures while I was assembling it to document the process.

Above you see stacks of 20 different colors of "flowers" for this stained glass design.  There is a total of 80 squares.
 I arranged two sets of 40 colors to develop the arrangement before laying them out on a large table prior to putting the afghan together.
 We're getting closer to putting it together now.  The squares are ready to be "strung" together to keep them in order as I add the last round of color and connect them all together.
 Here they're strung on a piece of yarn so I'm ready to go. 
 I have done all the work or organizing colors and now can just take each one from the top as I crochet the blanket together.
 Putting them into a large bag with handles allows me to keep them together and move the whole stack easily.
 Here it is!  All the squares are together and a scalloped border has been added. It's now in the shop and available for sale.  The listing is here with more images.

On to the next project!