My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Christmas in October October 26, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Hubby,Knitting,Military,Navy,Sewing — blankenmom @ 8:30 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I know I’ve been gone for while – this being my peak sewing season.  You know, costumes and what-not.  And I’m nearly finished, which is a good thing, since the first-born has a costume party Friday and I still have the final touches on his costume.   No worries – pic’s will follow “Wesley and Buttercup’s” excitement!  Not to mention a gorilla, an alien and a miniature Darth Vader.

I’ve also finished a sweater for my MIL, that is blocking at this moment.  Pics will follow when it finishes.  I managed to make it slightly to small in the front – she’s way more endowed than I am (well who’s not!) and it was just right for me.  So I’m “heavily blocking” it, aka: stretching it, hoping it will fit her right, otherwise I’ll have to frog it and start over.


I’m not going to think of that right now….


I just finished packing up the hubby’s Christmas gifts.  Yes, I know, Halloween hasn’t even arrived and if you’re anything like I am I can’t stand seeing Christmas items in the store 3 months early!  However – if your ship is months away, now is the time to be sending off any goodies, gifts or yummies if you want to make sure it arrives on time.  From what I’ve been hearing, current estimate is 2 months delivery time – give or take a typhoon or two.

So what goodies will the hubby be receiving this year…


Ssshhh – Don’t tell the hubby!


My favorite gift of all however, would have to be the Jelly Belly jelly beans (I guess you can’t see them up there?)

This is just too cool!


C’mon – that’s just awesome!


I know – your mouth is watering.  Go clean yourself up!


Now see, this is where it starts to get *really* awesome…



See the little doohickey in the corner there?  Yeah, it’s so cool *snicker*!


No, it’s not a bomb!


This little guy is a recording device, not to record the hubby silly!  I recorded “5 o’clock somewhere”, so that when he opens the box, it will start singing!  OMG’sh – I have seriously outdone myself this time!  Hahaha!  I am so in love with this!

I just hope no-one else thinks it’s a bomb and it makes it to him ok? 



Here is his Christmas – all packed up neat, nice and cozy.  My prayers are with the chocolate… and always with the hubby.


Winterizing the blankenfamily October 14, 2011

After spending almost a year in the south, I’m finding it a bit difficult to get used to the NW again.  This includes the fall rains that I used to enjoy so much.  We’re hunkering down and winterizing everything we own. 

The wood was ordered and stacked.  I have to admit I’ve missed real wood fires.  And what a great way to tire out your kiddo’s than to have them stack two cords of wood …. and bring it up the stairs to the fireplace!



The grass is fed for winter, new patio furniture put under the tarp, deck cleared off and outside toys (read: Nerf outlet)  put away.  The grey skies are looming and the rains are enough to make you look for Noah.  We’re all trying to get back into the NW thinking, but it’s slow going.  We’re finding our own little things to perk us up.  Fires that we love and will of course soon include s’mores and roasted marshmallows.  Lot’s of warm soups and yummy foods.  We invested in a “Light therapy box” and we’re enjoying thoroughly.  We park ourselves in front of it for lunch everyday;  it makes the schoolday go so much smoother.


Note the grey, dark skies outside… at noon.


My little ways of coping? 


Just the most yummy, sparkly, bright, fabulously soft yarn EVER!  It’s just so me I can hardly stand it!  More than once my boys have walked into the room to find me petting my wondermous yarn!






The pictures just don’t nearly do it enough justice to it’s fabulousness!  EEK!







And then of course I have my new do – mind you, this is a special treat for me.  I’ve never had my hair professionally done before!  (Well, I take that back.  I had someone do my hair for prom.)  *We’re on the grow out plan, I’ll have my long hair back very soon…. hopefully.*



Yes, that IS orange in my hair.  Love It!!


The pet’s are doing their own version of winterizing.


Josie hunkered under my blanket.


Kitty has found her spot.... and she's NOT moving!


Oly Monster in front of the heater.... *eye roll*



Little bits of happiness for each of us.  It’s our sunshine, while our sunshine is hidden.  We’re winterizing ourselves and hoping for a little ray of real sunshine in the midst of all this liquid sunshine.


*That being said.  The hubby was nice enough to point out that it’s cooled down to 85* where he is – the big stinker!  I suppose I can give him that, since he doesn’t get to see sky for months at a time. 


~ Any suggestions for little rays of sunshine during your winterization?




Making it simple October 8, 2011

Filed under: Knitting,Places,Uncategorized — blankenmom @ 12:06 am
Tags: , , ,

I really, really don’t enjoy making jewelry.  As a matter of fact, for all my love of all things that sparkle – short of a few very special pieces, I don’t even like wearing it all that much!  For all of you who do make it – I tip my hat to you; you earn your money!

I have a customer from when we lived at “that house” that had and still has me make necklaces for him to sell.  For some reason, the fact that I sew, means I can also make jewelry and various other crafts? 

But I did say yes, so I shouldn’t complain.

He had an idea, showed it to me and I’ve been attempting to make it the way he wants since then.  He’s sold what “we’ve” made so far, but we’re still in the process of perfecting the piece. 

And tonight – I finally found the tutorial that put’s all the pieces together!  Can you hear the angels singing!!

Thank you Lorraine Dowdle for your awesome youtube video that I’ve been searching for, for over a year now!  It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a huge difference.

I have ordered the components without the normal hesitation and curmudgeonry that I normally order with and am now looking forward to putting the pieces together. 

I can’t post pic’s yet… I just ordered the parts silly!

So tonight I will head to bed, knowing that in a week, I can put the pieces together without the pain and agony usually associated with this project – after all, sore hands are reserved for cutting fabric, knitting and brick work!


Witches brew in the toilet October 3, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Broken/Repaired,WTFr — blankenmom @ 6:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s been a long two weeks for me, and our handyman at “that house”. 

What started out as a simple tiling issue around the toilet turned into a major bathroom problem – not to mention the soon discovered piping issues caused by the recent hurricane/flood where the house stands. 

With the none-to-happy renters breathing down the handyman’s neck in their soul bathroom, as he attempted to find the source of the leak that had been plaguing us since the first week WE moved in 4 years ago.   Which was also causing the tile to pop, water to drip on to the stove underneath AND one of the support beams to break thanks to past “do-it-yourselfers” who didn’t know what they were doing and cut into them. 

After completely ripping out the flooring, tub, support beams and reinstalling all of the above, he then discovered the dislodged a.c. pipes in the crawl space that would have, if turned on, leaked lethal gases into the house with our renters…. now, they’ve paid late every month, moved two dogs in without permission and have already started to damage the house (we won’t mention all the minor things they asked him to repair while he was there) so this made me pause for a minute.  But human decency and compassion stepped in and I told him to fix it.  While down there, he also discovered that the pipes that brought the water to the boiler (they still heat with steam in most houses there) had ruptured and was leaking massive amounts of water.  *Sigh* – fix it please…..

At one point, he didn’t even want to call me anymore there were so many problems.  Have I mentioned yet, how much I hate this house? 

So hopefully, after 4 years and many plumbers, this leak is finally fixed. The plumbing put in correctly and the flooring will stay put.   And now hopefully the renters won’t call again – for at least another month!

On the bright side – it’s October – which means costumes!  I LOVE COSTUMES!  So I’ll be setting aside my top, that is driving me so insane and start on two of my four boys’ costumes.  One will be Wesley from The Princess Bride; a costume I’ve already made for my hubby, so it should go pretty smoothly this time.  And the other wants to be a gorilla – I am only making the body; we ordered the head.

I so want to make myself a “Fall Fairy” costume.  Two actually: A short, corseted fun one and one GIANT poofy one – both with sparkles to the hills of course.  I’m thinking of this as I’m passing all the gorgeous bolts of sparkly, speckled, lavish, fancy fabrics in beautiful fall and jewel tones for boring, basic black.  Black in stretch, crushed panne, black cotton and black fur.  Can I go back to the sparkly fabrics now?

I will give you pics when they’re all done, but for now, they’re giant piles of fabric sitting on my sewing table waiting to be something fun.