Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone!

Another year has rolled around and here it is Christmas again

Outdoor skating rink

tree bombing
I found this really touching.

taking brownies, pumpkin cheesecake and westie sugar cookies to Shannon's

I wish you all a peaceful happy and safe holiday

Hope Santa is good to you all !

Merry Christmas!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Keeping your head warm !

With our recent cold snap (and it was unusually cold) I was very happy I had knit this hat I am not a big hat wearer as I find I look pretty goofy in a lot of them. But when the daytime high is -12C you have to get over that real fast!

This hat is Purlbee Simple Pleasures Hat. I knit it with one strand of Shibui Staccato with one strand of Shibui Silk Cloud in Ash. I love my hat! It is super warm and super lightweight, looks great on everyone.

There's the Old Trout and Archie!



I really like the colour, it blends in with my natural highlights! If you are interested in knitting this one , you can find the project details on my Ravelry page. I am silverfox.

Under the category "Look Ma I have no hair!", there was another great reason to have this hat. I recently opted for a new hair style. I decided with my daughter's help to change it up a bit. I wear my hair pretty short, well let me tell you, it sure is a lot shorter now. We are talking buzzed up the sides and back and longer up top. I love it! It is very very short now and I will take a pic when it grows in a bit-for me that means a week! My hair grows like the mischief and it is very thick. Well its quite a bit different now and my other hats are all a bit big-again give me a week or two. Hmm come to think about it my daughter was on a lot of heavy pain meds at the time, hahaha, it is all good!

Speaking of my girl, thanks for your well wishes on her wisdom teeth extraction ordeal. Well, you know in life sometimes things don't always go the way we'd planned or hoped for. She has had a lot of complications and it ain't over yet. I will say no more as I don't want to tempt fate. We have a great saying here, This too shall pass!


I am currently knitting her a sweater. This one is going to take awhile. Details will be provided at a later date!

Yesterday when were taking his nibs out for a walk, we saw these wild Trumpeter Swans at the lake. We have lived here a long time and I have never seen them before. Soon as they saw us they hit the water. They are really big birds, easily over 3.5 feet. Archie was mercifully quiet and still as you really really don't want those birds taking  a run at you! It was quite exciting to see them though!
We are getting our Christmas mojo back! Today it was Westie sugar cookies. Kinda silly but fun!

Keep Smiling Friends!


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Churchmouse Cowl and how can it be December already??

I must be living in some kind of time/space warp, I can't believe it is December 5 already!! I am really  enjoying reading all my fellow blogger's Christmas gift making and decorating. What an awesome bunch! Sadly I haven't quite got my groove on with my own Christmas preparations but I am sure soon I will launch into high gear. Okay maybe not so high but at least get the ball rolling!  When our kids were younger and we had a lot more family around I was pretty organized and super busy. Now I am more of a multi-slacker. Times change and that's perfectly okay.


 I knit this cowl recently. Love it ! I thought this would be a great quick (ish) knit for some of you who want to knock off another gift, or better yet, make one for yourself!!

This is The Inside Outside Churchmouse Cowl. It is a great straightforward knit. I started with a provisional cast on-I use a crochet cast on with waste yarn. Then I knit approximately 8 inches with Shibui Stocatto-a fingering weight yarn in Tar. I then started knitting my stripe sequence with two strands of Kidsilk Haze Eclipse in  Aquarius alternately with Shibui Silk Cloud in Raspberry. When the stripey part was the same length as the plain part I grafted the two edges together. Grafting with the mohair was okay, you just need a lot of good light and a big dose of patience. If you are not a fan of the graft., a three needle bind off would work just dandy. It is amazing to me that this cowl just folds nicely on the rounds where I changed yarns.
 My cowl is so nice to wear with a coat or atop a sweater. It is super soft and just drapes nicely. This is a great stash buster project and a great way to use up left over sock yarn. You could have a lot of fun with this pattern!

My squashapalazoo continues. Today I made a butternut squash apple soup. This time instead of making a curried soup I made a warm spicy one. I used ginger and pumpkin pie spice to flavour it . It tastes great but it tastes even better if you add a couple of glugs of maple syrup. Yum! The house smells awesome!!

I was recently nominated by two awesome bloggers for the Leibster  Blog Award  by the lovely

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Best Chocolate Fudgy Brownies!!

I will dispense with the pleasantries today and be quick to the chase! Who amongst us doesn't like a delicious piece of chocolate brownie? For the majority of us there is no question,it is a no brainer!!

Here at Chez Chrissy we are in love with this one! You may notice there small little orangey yellow bits in the brownie and it does have a secret ingredient...

Yes my friends, it is a butternut squash! We all know that squashes are considered superfoods now. They are full of vitamins, mineralas, fibre, antioxidants, phytonutrients...etc.
oops in the recipe you don't add butter to the chocolate, I did and it was fine

Some very brilliant cooks discovered that if you add squash to some chocolate, butter, flour eggs..etc, you produce the best fudgiest brownies! And on the rare occasion they last more than a day, they taste even better the next day. I found the recipe here. They are fantastic, wait a minute they are doubly fantastic as they contain a super healthy veggie!! I don't know if they qualify for a veggie serving but it is worth a try! 
  Now kids, you have to make these and if you aren't interested in making them, then get someone to make them for you. If you are eating gluten free, it only uses 3/4 c of flour so I think you could substitute a gluten free flour easily. I have a friend who is celiac so I am going to make them for her.
Since I am all about the squash these days, I bought the book. Oh my, this is a good one. I have made the pumpkin cupcakes (yum) and the cheesy squash cornbread. There are tons of good recipes for veggie dishes, soups, desserts, you name it! Love it !!  Nom nom nom!!!!
 I have been knitting Kelpie , a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. Love it, but for the life of me I can not believe how many screw ups I have done with this one. It is not a particularly difficult pattern but I have ripped out many many stitches and rows on this puppy ( maybe too much chocolate?). It is a very interesting construction and I do like knitting projects that use different techniques. I have finished a few things lately and I just have to get off my arse and take some photos.

We have had a bit of a cold snap this past week. We were taking his little lordship out for a walk at City Park and I snapped a few pics with my phone.

There's a big heron sitting on an abandoned osprey's nest
 Thank goodness for great technology, half the time I really don't know what I am looking at that well and the pictures come out quite decently.
Have a good week friends
Keep smiling
And go make some squash brownies!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Skiff a Brooklyn Tweed Hat and some of my knitty buddies!


It is amazing how one strong wind and a cold front moving in can change the seasons abruptly. Over night the leaves are blown off the trees and we are left with stark silhouettes across a stormy sky. I knit the hat above way back in September. I saw this yarn, Debbie Bliss Luxury Aran and Skiff, a new Brooklyn Tweed pattern and I had to do it. I knit it for my husband and he really likes it. But my friend Shannon did the modelling for me. She likes it a lot! (you can see her mailbox in the background). She is a great knitter and we can talk for long periods of time about patterns and wool and all the projects we can do!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Retro Bedroom Makeover

It has been busy around here lately. Lots of projects started, finished,or abandoned till next year, you all know how it goes! Two big projects have been finished, our roof and our bedroom. Brent has been working on a new roof for the past couple of summers. He did a great job and I could share some pictures but it is a grey asphalt tile roof. Not too exciting. He did a major section every summer. We all used to tease him he had a bar fridge, a couch and a flat screen TV up there as he seemed to spend a lot of time up there banging and crashing around. But it is done now and the Leahey Lounge is officially closed! Yay Brent!!

We have finally finished redoing our bedroom. This is an epic event around here. It has been a long term project, not weeks or months, we are talking a few years. Every time we would chose a paint colour or a floor sample, like clockwork, the phone would ring. We have spent more than the last decade care giving for all the elders and dealing with some other serious health issues in our own family. That phone would ring at an odd time, we'd both look at each other and think whose turn is it now?  Time passes and all our parents have ....left this vale of tears, our four aged kitties are gone too and things are on a more even keel here. If that is ever possible!

I should have taken a before picture, but I never thought to. Trust me, it wasn't looking so good! We knew the carpet was toast and we wanted a new paint colour for the walls. Picking paint is hard, at least I find it hard. You look at the chip, look at it on your wall, watch the light change on the chip, pick up another chip and on and on it goes. I know you can buy paint in small amounts and paint test patches but that would be too easy and less stressful for me. I love the colour we chose, it's a Benjamin Moore paint called Mayonnaise. It is considered a shaded white, it has a bit of yellow in it and when the sun hits it the room really lights up. It is a warm, cheerful colour, but not too yellowy.

Brent laid a lovely wood floor.

We have some old mid century modern furniture. It was originally my parents, but we have had it since the eighties! I have always wanted to paint it but for some unknown reason painting wood is an utter travesty in the male mind. Finally, finally, finally, someone agreed he would give it a try, and he loves it!

notice uncluttered corner

We painted the furniture white, it seems all the paints available now are a primer/ paint blend. I am not sold on these paints. I find their finish is softer and marks more easily. I guess that's why some people will put a few layers of Varathane or a suitable sealer on as a finishing coat. This is not a high traffic area so it will be just fine.

We did buy new baseboards and new closet doors. I love the new closet door handles and light fixture.

I love my satellite mirror.

 We reused and re purposed what we could and the rest we purchased at sales at home and hardware stores.

I will admit I am a clutterbug and we are both a pair of junk-a -toonies! However, we both love this clean uncluttered space and we have both promised to ourselves not to mess it up. So far so good. Hopefully we can adopt this frame of mind to the rest of the house!! Okay, everyone, you can all wake up now I am done talking about my bedroom!!

We travelled down to Victoria recently to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter. I cooked a turkey before we left and although it seemed like a total pain in the butt at the time, it was a good idea. I like to cook and my family knows it. No one seems to assume cooking duties as soon as I hit the door. Dang! Unfortunately the day after we arrived our daughter got nailed by a nasty flu which then morphed into both a sinus and chest infection. Ick!! Then Brent got sick. Double Ick!! Archie had a routine visit to the Vet's for a kennel cough booster and we discovered he had fleas!! Triple Ick!! Our visit was extended several days and there was much sneezing, coughing, moaning and scratching in a very small 500 sq. ft apartment. Priceless!! I made a lot of soup for the sickies. This is one of my favs.

This is a Curried Butternut Squash Soup. I use lots of curry powder and freshly grated ginger in this recipe. Sometimes I get a little too enthusiastic with my spices ( for some), a dollop (yes a dollop) of sour cream really cools it down and it tastes great. Everyone is on the mend now and we are home again. Archie, sans fleas, came back with us too.

Have a great week friends

Keep smiling!


Ross Bay

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