Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine "Advent" Tree

Valentine Dreams


Do you remember these branches from the previous blog? Well, they have been patiently waiting for crocheted apple blossoms; these poor branches have become lonely.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...




In the interim, to keep them company, the branches have been turned into a "Valentine Advent Tree." Joyfully, all heart shaped ornaments from this last Christmas (Jul) have been placed upon it.
The red and white Norwegian heart baskets were made during a Christmas activity we had planned for the children (#3 and #6) and their significant others. We were to drink Glogg, watch both Grinch shows and make ornaments. The adult children, these days, apparently do not know what fun is, as they did not join us! We thought the glogg, at least, would tempt them to join our festivites, but, nah...what is the matter with kids theses days?

In any case, the NVO and I had a lovely time making the ornaments. He is such a good sport and it's a good thing he participated as he was the one that figured out how to weave the two colors together, when I could not. He did; however, reach his limit of the ornament making before I was ready for him to reach it.  ;-)

See the Gingerbread Snowflakes blog for instructions on making a three tab heart basket out of paper. Our baskets are four tabs and made from felt which are pretty simple to adjust from the three tab pattern.

14 heart baskets hang from the tree for the NVO to open each day of February as a Valentines' Day countdown. A treat and a love note for each day until a favorite holiday arrives.

The following beautiful little V-day tidbits fill the heart baskets: 

Inside these little heart envelopes hide chocolate sandwich mints.

The other heart baskets are filled with pink candy corn, truffles, non-pareil juju hearts, and get this...sugar-free red and white mints; these are many of the NVO's favorite candies. All but the sugar-free mints were purchased at my favorite local chocolate shop, C.K. Cummings Candies. Shopping there is a glorious experience in and of itself. Mmmmmmmmm... The <20 gms of carbs per day diet starts on 2/15/11. :-)

BTW...
The apple blossoms are coming along; however, it will be a while...
a few more weeks in "crocheting heaven" time.


More posts to come re: crocheted blossoms and our annual Valentines' Day ice fishing trip (I'm imagining crocheted neck warmers to match our Carhartts.)

~Astri

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossom Dreams

I truly love Kristiansund N., Norway, my home town.
This photo below, from our last visit in 2009, of this beautiful city, adorns the header of this blog:

The colors are so beautiful and it so very much makes me long for Norway; however, I have to ask myself  "How is this photo related to Apple Blossom Dreams?" Hmmmmm...well there ARE blossoms at the bottom of the photo; but, those blossoms, as far as I can tell, appear to be primroses, not even remotely related to apple blossoms. On the other hand, the photo is related to "dreams" and both the NVO and I dream of Norway most everyday, but Norway is just one of our dreams and this blog really is about so many dreams...

 There was no particular reason to insert these photos here, just simply a couple of
random photos we took in Kristiansund, N. Norway, that I find pleasing. 
I hope you enjoy them too.

My most current dream (obsession) is to have the opportunity to crochet wherever and whenever possible.
 (I don't believe that is the NVO's dream, but it does keep me out of trouble and off the streets, and THAT'S gotta' be a dream of his. ;-0)

Crocheting is calming and meditative (is that a word?). I have found that it's the most perfect multi-tasking activity and it's portable, to boot. I can watch a movie and crochet, I can attend a sporting event and crochet, I can fish and crochet (stay posted on this one as more to come from our annual St. Valentines' weekend ice-fishing trip, a little crochet... a little wiggle of the jig, very romantic), I can snuggle with the NVO and crochet, I can ride the exercise bike and crochet, I can wait in long lines or in waiting rooms and crochet, I can crochet in my car while waiting to pick someone up and countless other activities and crochet at the same time. Still trying to figure out how to blog and crochet at the same time, though. Additionally, I just absolutely love it and can't stop. As the NVO says "Just put the hook and yarn down, put your arms up and slowly walk away." tee, hee...yeah, right...

So due to the fact that apple blossoms have many connections for us and so many special and even a few hidden meanings, as well, what could be better to represent that, than some crocheted apple blossoms?

Aha!
That's it...an idea is born:
Branches of Crocheted Apple Blossoms
Will Become the New Header

Hey, it's another excuse to crochet and it fits right into the theme. Our dreams from Apple Blossom Lane, which just happen to include a dream about crochet, crochet, crochet, all the time crochet. Crochet this and crochet that. Crocheted roses, monkeys, afghans, snowflakes, hearts and...apple blossoms. Surely this could not be a waste of time. Surely I should not put down the hook and yarn and slowly walk away...

And since I strive to be a woman of action...here are some of the actions behind these BIG crocheting words I write...

First the inspiration: The Naked Branch project from the Easy Makes Me Happy Blog solidified the idea in my head and I plan to incorporate her pattern for the leaves, as well. As per the Easy Makes me Happy Blog, my next step was the branch. I trekked through our yard for some branches that were broken during our last heavy snowfall.

Then I rescued a white ceramic pot in the corner of the kitchen where an alive plant previously thrived...through the cold winter this plant did not fare so well. Farewell sweet plant, I'm sorry I was unable to save you...

Next, a lovely pattern for apple blossoms was discovered in Lesley Stanfields, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet, book. This pattern can also be found on the Lion Brand Website. I may even throw in a couple of the little rosebuds from the same pattern book. I purchased this book from Amazon and it has been well loved and survived  many a "crochet phase."

Lastly, the really exciting piece: THE YARN!!! Purchased from my favorite yarn shop: The Wool Cabin, luscious Greek cotton yarn. Yummy!!! Check out these colors - I could eat them up.

The makings of this project:

This is just the beginning of this project...I will post again in regards to how the project is coming along.
I am so excited to work on it that I want to call-in sick at work,
probably a common feeling amongst us hookers.

Playing hooky to hook!
(Hope my boss doesn't read my blog)



Once this project is "hooked up" and photographed, I fear the real challenge will be how to best create a blog header incorporating the blossoms. HTML lessons, anyone?

Stay tuned for updates.

Love and may you have sweet apple blossom dreams,

~Astri

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcome A. J.

Dreams of Crocheting for Babies


A. J.
Born January 22, 2011
Congratulations to your family!!!


For you A. J., my dear friend's grandson...
 A "Monkey Stroller Blanket"...
To protect you from the winter chill...
To wrap you in the warmth of love
from me,
to Grammie,
 to your Mom and Dad,
 to you...


The Monkey Stroller Blanket Process

 
The monkeys and the blanket are all finished and
ready to go for a walk in the stroller with A. J.
Stay warm and cozy little one!

BTW - we used the NVO's baby picture as a model for the monkey:
 
Alien Monkey Boy...Born in the 50's...Area 51

~Astri

Follow-up on January 26, 2011
The blanket was given to A.J. and he's already been wrapped in it. Hope he feels the love.  :-)

What a beautiful baby!


Hummer og Posjert Pære med Sjokolade Fløtesaus

A Dreamy Dinner at Home with the NVO

Dessert First...
 
   Sumptuous Poached Pears with Creamy Hot Chocolate Sauce

Then Dinner...


Spinach, Craisin, Sliced Almonds, Apples Salad
Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
Whole Steamed Lobsters

Another Astri and NVO Collaboration

Click here for Famous French Low Carb Pear Recipe that we used
Voila!!!
Check out the "Two Buck Chuck"with Lobster. Ha, ha.

~Astri

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Multi-tasking

I dream of doing five things at once and then...
doing nothing...


1 ~ Crocheting
2 ~ Exercising
3 ~ Blogging
4 ~ Watching Television
5 ~ Listening to the iPod

and then...



Nothing....just simply....nothing...Ahhhhhh....

Doing five things at once can't be good; however, the crocheting and biking at the same time is definitely the most brillant idea since "Troga" (Treadmill Yoga or Yoga for Trolls)...



~Astri

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stabbur

I Dreamt the Entrance from
the Garage to the House was a Stabbur

The Dream Came True...



"BEFORE"  


 "AFTER"

The design is painted on the walls
then shelves are placed on top of the design


The stabbur is more than meets the eye...
cabinets with shelves hidden beneath it's facade...

The NVO is more than meets the eye...

A sign from an old bakery is hung and a roof,
complete with grass, is placed.


Windows are painted to represent both countries:
   Norsk Kransekake
(Norwegian Wedding Cake)

American Apple Pie 


And last, but not least, the "Worm and Beer" refrigerator
is painted to blend with the mountain.
Do you see it?


Thank you, NVO; I love you!!!
 
~Astri