Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winnie's Final Clue

Winnie has sent Wisty and Siobhan one final clue. It's a box with the item that she's been hunting down this entire time. The only bit that was seen by Olive giving a clue to what was inside was a piece of paper with a series of numbers on it.

5 Words: 6, 9, 5, 3, 6
Ok, so throughout all of Winnie's letters, certain letters have been highlighted. My guess is to take these letters and arrange them into five different words. These are the letters we have to work with.
The first word I see is QUIDDITCH. It's nine letters long and the whole reason we're for this round of HSKS.
Next, I see WORLD. A five letter word that goes well with QUIDDITCH. That leaves us with:
Now it gets a little harder. Lets try the three letter word first. Thinking back to The Goblet of Fire makes me think it might be CUP. This leaves these letters:
Ok, so now we have QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP. Now I'm kind of stuck again. Time to seek some help from those who are good with anagrams and word problems. My grandma!
Yes! Grandma came through for me again! She sees STOLEN and TROPHY as the last two words. So what is the five word phrase for what is in the box from Winnie? The item she's been off searching all term?!
Wow! What an adventure and great find! Way to go Winnie!

My Kit Came!

Long before the snows arrived to the DC area, Clara Clovenhoof's owl dropped off my fabulous package. I kept waiting for time and good light to take some pictures, but those two things just didn't want to come together. So, Clara, I apologize for not photographing your lovely kit to it's true potential.

First we have a lovely little notions box (which I've been trying to find myself!) that tells me to "Look Inside!"

Inside were GREAT stitch markers. Really lovely!

Next, some "Jingles for the wrist!"

This has to be my fave part. House socks in Pride colors. They are definitely "keeping my feet warm!" today as the blizzard comes down!

Some great washcloths (also in Pride colors). One has a star (our symbol) and one has a 7 (my number). She's so clever!

"Something to keep my ears warm". The Bobble Headband

A cute little snitch and a star ornament.

GREAT slippers!

Yarn, needles and a pattern a day calendar.

Finally, knitting patterns for socks, a hat and gloves - all based on Cookie A's Pomatomous pattern.

Thank you so, so much, Clara! This kit definitely went so far above and beyond my expectations and I love ALL of it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so before the craziness that is the end-of-the-year holiday season begins, I wanted to take a moment to list the things that I'm thankful for.
  1. Friends and family who love me
  2. A job that challenges me every day
  3. New days and new opportunities
  4. Quiet mornings spent reading in bed
  5. Beautiful days at the end of long weeks
  6. Coffee... and the other little things that get you through the day
  7. Vacation days
  8. Fun evenings out... and in.
  9. Good books
  10. Friends and family who love me (I'm that thankful for you!)

Thank you to everyone who has listened to me and needed me as well. It's good to have a balance of both. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


One of my favorite movies is Grosse Point Blank. (I'm a huge John Cusack fan!) Well, there's a line from the movie that I've been pondering on recently...

Debi: You know what you need?
Marty: What?
Debi: Shakabuku.
Marty: You wanna tell me what that means?
Debi: It's a swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.
Marty: Oh, that'd be good. I think.

I really think I'm in need of some Shakabuku. I've had this feeling for a while that I can't really describe other than it has me feeling anxious, self conscience and insecure. I think I need a change and maybe Shakabuku is just the change I need.

What about you? Do you now or have you had need of Shakabuku?

P.S. I don't know how she does it, but Winnie has gone from the wilds of South America to the ancient world of Cairo, Egypt. Must be nice to travel like that. :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lessons Learned

So, yeah... October has been over for a week and I only posted for about half of the month. But, I learned a few things in my attempt to post every day.

1. My life is seriously uninteresting.
2. Ergo, really hard to think of what to write.
3. People who DO blog on a consistent basis are awe inspiring.
4. I need to find a purpose for my blog (I think I have for 2010 though!).
5. Next time, I'm shooting for three days a week rather than every day.

Oh, and while I WANTED to participate in the Mal Stockpile, I couldn't even finish one scarf. I've lost my focus, people! Did you take it?!

P.S. I have not been participating as I should, but I have been following WWW and I believe she started the week in Mexico City for the Day of the Dead celebrations, then made her way to Chile for some kite flying and then onto Brazil for some Carnival!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just keep driving!

So, as I was driving to work this morning, I noticed something about my car...

That's right! My car is about to hit 100K miles! Any bets as to when it will actually happen?!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We are family!

This title is super appropriate because I not only spent today with my family, I spent it with my mom and all three of her sister's (see, the song was done by Sister Sledge... cute huh?!). My aunt Sandy was in town from CA for her 25th high school reunion and since we don't get to see her very much we all make every effort to come and visit with her. My aunt Connie was kind enough to host a lunch for all of us and that's where we congregated today. My mom and her sisters can be VERY loud when they're all in the same room. They talk over each other and pick on each other and it's great. However, it wasn't as loud as it usually is since Sandy was still recovering from the reunion weekend (too many late nights!). Good times were still had though!

Here we have all four of the Snyder girls. Down in front are my mom and Aunt Margaret (my mom is the blond) and in back are my Aunt Connie and Aunt Sandy.

Here's a close-up of my Aunt Sandy... aww, she's so cute (see, I come by the cuteness naturally!)

Here's my purty mom! They say look to your mom to see how you'll age... I think I'm going to be ok!

This is now my new fave picture of me! Nicely done, Aunt Connie!

Here's my sweet corgi, Matilda! She was just FASCINATED by Aunt Connie's love bird, Widget. But she never barked at her or tried to tackle the cage. She's a VERY well behaved dog! Love her!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The cold and the wet

I love the fall... it is definitely my favorite of the seasons. The cooler temperatures, the fall foliage, the smell of burning leaves... it all just sends me to the moon! Now that we're half way through October, we should be in the height of the best part of the season. However, this past week has proven that theory WRONG! It has been cold, grey and wet! And I for one have had enough! Where's my crisp, blue sky? Where are my vibrant trees? And where by gum is my scent of burning leaves? Oh yeah... their hiding behind the grey, wet and dankness that is the BAD part of fall. The part that makes you think you're in for a VERY nasty winter. Well, I've had enough! I want the REAL fall back please!

Friday, October 16, 2009

No place like home!

So I fully inteded to go out tonight. My aunt was in town for her high school reunion and she was meeting a group at a bar in DC. It was going to be fun and laid back and there was going to be punkin beer. Good times were going to be had, gosh darnit! The best laid plans or whatever the saying is. As you know, this week's weather (in the DC area) has been gray and wet and cold and tonight was no different. I got home and just could NOT bring myself to go. Found all sorts of reasons NOT to go... I could get punkin beer from the store, I could see my aunt on Sunday, etc., etc. And sure enough, I talked myself out of it! I stayed in and enjoyed pizza, beer, movies and knitting with Kate. What's wrong with me? Why can't I ever just go out and have a good time? Why do I have to be such a homebody? I need help. Well, next Friday, I'm going out and doing SOMETHING! I've got to put myself out there, dammit! Now I just have to figure out what that something will be. Man, there's always something!

Talk to you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comedy of Errors

Recently, I got into an argument with my friend about some plans we had made that she was cancelling in favor of something else. Well, after getting over my disappointment, I talked with the third person we were meeting up with and talked about changing the plans to late Saturday/all day Sunday. She was up for that and I thought we are all back on track - or so I thought. Turns out the second girl had already MADE plans for Sunday! Sheesh! I was mad at her all over again - and then she starts chatting with me and lets me know that she switched her Saturday plans to Sunday so we could go back to the original plans. Double sheesh! This is really turning into some kind of farce. But wait, it gets a little more insane! Girl the second gets SICK! So, our plans are in limbo to see if she's feeling up to it.

Seriously... talk about your Comedy of Errors!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I don't have many addictions. I tend to be a fairly balanced person (or at least I like to believe I am!). However, I've discovered that I am not immune to the seduction that is Facebooks apps. Yes, I cannot resist their siren call. Particularly the ones from Farmtown, Yoville and Farmville. I don't know what it is about them. There's really nothing terribly exciting or challenging, but there is just something about harvesting your crops or decorating your apartment that I just can't resist. Oh, and earning all of the coins. I mean, in no other place than in a Facebook app will I have close to $3 million! They also kind of bring out this competitive edge in me. I'm always trying to be the tops amongst my friends/neighbors. I remember when I was really into Green Patch I was THRILLED when I finally passed my friend Leigh Anne in the amount of rain forrest I had "saved". So, yeah... hello, my name is Ashley and I'm Facebook app-aholic!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting to know you...

Getting to know all about you, and you and you and you... are we sensing a pattern here? Yes, it's HSKS swap time again and the first assignment is to get to know a few of my fellow quidditch players. First, we'll start with finding a few people that meet the requirements below. Then, I'll introduce myself, leave a brief note saying howdy! So you can get to know them to, follow the link to their blogs! Are you having fun yet?!

1. Someone with the same craft as you (either those listed above or another one). Captain Wisteria Lovegood
2. Someone who was born in the same month. Captain Siobhan Mooney
3. Someone from a different country. Emma Gorodock
4. A new HSKS Quidditch player. Stellwa Quinn
5. A player who has been in 3 or more HSKS swaps. Lizzie Wychwood
6. A player who has a bigger stash than you! (And if your stash is the biggest, proudly say so!) Stuart Cauldwell
7. A player who both knits and crochets. Hermione Bagnold
8. Someone who has the same favorite color as you. Eugene Nigeno

It was fun to go around and visit all of these wonderful quidditch players. Both old and new, they all offered inspiration and new ideas. Stuart has an AMAZING Rosamund's Cardigan (Rav link). Really makes me want to make one for myself. It was so great to read more of Eugene's witty poetry. We should all be lucky to have a talent such as that! Hermione's an inspiration... knitting is still a new thing for her, yet she's already making her first sweater. Have no fear as they say! If you're new to HSKS, you can easily look to Lizzie for kit inspiration. A two-time Best Kits winner, she always treats her spoilee's right! Bevin's sister Siobhan is joining us and is even a team captain and co-administrator... way to go just diving right in! Emma, my spoiler from last round, dyes some fantastic yarn you should check it out! And we can't forget to say hello to one of our newest recruits, Stellwa Quinn, got to love the name - reminds me of the priest from The Princess Bride. And last, but certainly not least is my captain extraordinaire -- Wisty Lovegood. I'm proud to fly under her guidance! Go PoP!

Monday, October 12, 2009

An almost perfect day

Ahh... the beauty that is the three day weekend! A day off of work without having to use a vacation day is a gift indeed and I appreciate everyone that I get! For this day I even had the pleasure of having the place to myself. Control of the tv and the couch are both things that you should never take for granted... I know I never will!

The best thing was that the day was kind of gray and cold so it was VERY easy to talk myself into staying inside. I watched many movies (including Mr. Holland's Opus, which still has the power to make me BAWL!) and knitted the 10" I needed to add to the traveling scarf it was my turn to knit to. I loved it!

Which brings me to my next question (see, I love learning all about you!) what makes a perfect day for you? We have two things that I need for mine. Add in some hot chocolate, a REALLY cold and bleak day and a fire place and you'd have ALL of the makings for a PERFECT day! What about you?

Talk to you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What happened?

Ok, so it's Sunday. I know I did laundry and I had Chinese for dinner (after not having breakfast or lunch), but other than that I can't remember what I did today. Have you ever had a day like that? Seriously, I'm sitting here and can't remember a damn thing I did. Or maybe it's more that I can't remember a damn thing I did that is worth writing about. Hmm...

I can say that today is great because I know that when I go to bed that I won't have to wake up early the next morning. Lord how I love three day weekends. Woo hoo!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's a start!

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, I am participating in Stockpile 2009 in an effort to get ahead of my Christmas gift knitting (and to use my fave yarn, mmmmMal). However, so far, I have started a hat (that has since been ripped out) and a scarf (that I barely have 12" of). I have two pairs of mittens, a hat and three pairs of fingerless mitts to make. At this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to make it. Especially with the mitts. Which brings me to a really good question. Should I have ASKED everyone if they wanted a knitted item before starting one? I asked my mom and my sister (oh, which reminds me, add a purse to that list) and they said yes, but I didn't ask anyone else. But hey, half a hat (that's now nothing) and 1/6th of a scarf IS a start!

P.S. But what has me worried are the two knitted items I'm making for the two swaps I'm in oh, and the bi-weekly 5" I have to make on the traveling scarf swap I'm in. Yeah, I think I might be in over my head!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Night's Alright for Fighting

Ok, so there was no fighting, but I didn't really want to just title the post Friday and it was one of my favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls.

But let me say, Friday night WAS alright! (Ok, so it was more than alright, but I'm going with a theme here!) I must say, that it is great to know that the cool people you hung out with in high school are STILL cool (if not cooler) outside of it and all growed up. Makes you feel even better for having been friends with them. That didn't sound as bad as I think it did, does it? Ok, but you get my point, right? I loved seeing everyone and catching up... better than any 10 year reunion my class could have planned. Even though I was the only one there in my graduating class. I know, weird!

Oh, and I must say that punkin beer can make ANY day alright. I am also most excited to report that I will be having it again this Friday. I might have to make it a weekly thing... at least until its no longer the seasonal option. What comes in winter? Anyone know?

Talk to you tommorow! :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009


This might seem a bit sick, but I LOVE anticipation. I love the excitement you feel before a fun/great/thrilling moment. The problem with anticipation though is that so often, it's so much better than the event itself. Something that's notorious for that is New Year's Eve. Whatever you might have planned is NEVER as good as what you hope it will be.

So, at the beginning at the month, I was anticipating all of my plans for the month and sure enough, I've been confronted with disappointment. But, we move on. Make other plans. And enjoy the ones that you already have. Like tomorrow. Very excited about tomorrow. Going to Winchester and meeting up with a lot of people I haven't seen since I graduated from high school over 10 years ago. It's the closest I'm going to get to a reunion and it's exactly the kind of reunion I was looking for. But I'm not going to get too excited... that way, I won't be too disappointed.

What about you? Do you know of what I speak?

Talk to you tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wind & Sails

I have definitely had the wind taken out of my sails. While I was super excited a week ago about the things I had planned for this month, today was a bit of a downer. My plans for next weekend fell apart all while I was on a horrendous call with my Education Committee and it led to a really bad afternoon.

The worst part though was the argument I got into with my best friend. I hate fighting with my friends, but this time I just got so frustrated. I'm tired of people thinking that just because I don't have kids or pets or own a home that I don't have a life. That I don't have responsibilities. It's like when my old roommates said I was adult light... all the fun with none of the responsibilities. That always made me so mad. I just don't understand how I am any less of an adult because I dont' have those things. I have bills, I have a job, I have people who count on me to do things or be places. So, I'm at a cross roads with my friend. I am constantly having to reschedule or having plans canceled all together because she has these responsibilities. And I'm an inflexible friend because I've gotten tired of it. *Sigh* It sometimes really sucks being a grown up!

Talk to you tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

All by myself...

Lately, my roommate has been working some REALLY late hours. Which means that I have the house to myself in the evening. I've been using it as an opportunity to see what it would be like to ACTUALLY live by myself. Would I be lonely? Could I keep up with the little bit of tidying around the house? Would I actually cook for myself or just order out all of the time? And so far, I'm kind of impressed.

To keep the loneliness at bay, I've kept the TV on -- whether I was watching it or not, it's nice to have the noise in the background. To keep busy, I've focused on my knitting more -- which is good since I have Christmas gifts to get out! I've also stopped by the library and gotten a couple of books. I'm a loner by nature, so as long as I have things to occupy my mind and time, I'm not too worried about being lonely.

As for the tidying, that one I'm still not so sure on. I'm a pile maker. I don't necessarily make everything spick and span and put it in its own place. Instead, I make piles. Now, I've tried to be more dilligent of taking my things to my room and making fewer piles, but they're still there. I'm not sure if I will be as dilligent if I have no one who is going to be looking at my mess on a regular basis. This especially becomes a problem if I end up in a studio. There just isn't enough space in a studio for excess clutter and mess. So, I'll continue on working that.

As for the cooking, I've been doing fairly well. I've been going online and finding a recipe for dinner, shopping for it on Monday night and then eating if for the rest of the week. I don't mind leftovers so this works for me. I might make a few more things once I have a fridge that I'm not sharing. It's amazing how limited you are when you don't have your own space.

So, all in all, I think I'm ready to live on my own. I'm not sure when that will be, but I feel ready for when the moment comes. What do you think? When did you realize you were ready? Anyone really not like living without a roommate? I'd love to know!

Talk to you later!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday, Monday!

I go back and forth on whether I like Mondays or not. Like so many people in this world, I'm not a fan because it means the end of my weekend and the start of another work week. On the other hand, it's interesting to see what the week holds and there's nothing but possibilities at the start of the work week.

My mother is a big fan of cycles. She would see Monday as just the start of another cycle. Not one to like or disklike, but to just appreciate for what it is. I don't think that this helps... at all, but it's a special thought. I'm just grateful for coffee and it's magical ability to put a happy glow on any day.

So, what about you? What gets you through Mondays?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sundays were made for Shopping!

I recently received a really nice bonus from work and after putting half of it towards my credit card bill I was ready to buy myself a little special something. My first big purchase was some yarn from both Fibre Space and then Eat.Sleep.Knit. If you haven't gone yet, you MUST check out Fibre Space. It has a great selection of yarn (including my fave - Malabrigto), very knowledgable and friendly staff and a funky and fun decor. LOVE it! Oh, and my recent Eat.Sleep.Knit put me to my first 5 mile post in my Yarnathon, so I got a great little knitting bag with a mini-sweater kit, a tape measure and some very handy dandy yarn reference cards. They are now DEFINITELY my favorite online yarn source!

Then today Leigh and I went to the mall and I bought two new cardigans and two camis to go underneath. The camis go with each of the sweaters, which makes for four combos. Each combo can go with both black AND brown pants/skirts, which equals out to about 8 potential outfits. My total was about $80 for the four pieces, so this comes out to about $10 per new outfit. I feel really good about that! Anywho, it's time to settle down and get to bed. Tomorrow's Monday so it's back to work for me!

Talk to you later! :)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

For the love of Crafts!

Saturday was a bright and beautiful day, just perfect for walking around a craft fair -- or at least it seemed that way from inside my house. Turns out my crisp fall day was more like a summer day. This was a little disappointing, but I was not going to let it stop me from enjoying Crafty Bastards. This is the second time that I've gone to this particular craft fair and I have to admit, I wasn't as impressed as I was last year. Probably because it was the same vendors with the same things. No worries, I still had Meg and the bonus of Diana and Corey to make it fun. Oh and I DID buy a wallet from This Chickadee.

Later that evening I went over to my friend Leigh Anne's and we had dinner, drank some wine, watched a movie and gabbed about life in general. She has two crazy dogs (well, one is her mom's) who made things interesting (or irritating, depends on how you look at it). I love the fact that Leigh Anne is now back in this part of Virginia. She is definitely one of my favorite people and I've missed being able hang out with her. Even better, she's just accepted a job in Sterling, so she isn't going anywhere any time soon. Woo hoo!

Talk to you later! :)

Friday, October 02, 2009


So, as I was sitting in my office today I all of a sudden had this huge surge of happiness and excitement. I don't know where it came from, but it was suddenly just there. My best guess was that it was a combination of having so many fun things to look forward to this month, plus reconnecting with some old friends plus planning all of my Stockpile 2009 projects that just got me so happy and excited. I'm generally a happy person, so it doesn't take TOO much to send me over, but I must say that I was glad to feel it.

It's been a while since I've had that kind of happy surge. Between getting ready for the meeting, the meeting itself and then the withdrawl effect when it was over, not much room for being happy. There have been other tense areas of my life, but I'm trying to find a kind of zen attitude about that. All in all, I am just very happy to have something to be excited about. Makes going into the cold months that much easier.

Talk to you later! :)

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Greetings! I write to you from the other side (the finished side) of my association's annual meeting. We came back successful and gleeful... and EXHAUSTED! Now that I've recovered I can turn my attentions back to my blog. I know you must be as excited as I am!

First, a small (ok, rather large) housekeeping issue. I got my second SP 14 package close to two weeks ago and have yet to say a proper thank you to my Secret Pal. Even worse, I have serious camera issues and so can't show it off properly. She sent me some lovely baby blue cotton yarn - even better, she sent me enough for a February Lady Sweater! She included the pattern with it, so I'm guessing that's what it's for. I also got a little notebook to take notes in. Thanks Pal for another great package!

So, in case you hadn't noticed, today is October 1 - the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (remember to do self-checks ladies!), Sock-tober (if you knit socks you're excited right about now), Stockpile 2009 (for Malabrigo Junkies a way to create a pile of gifties for the holidays in the best yarn around!). It is also BLOGtober, a chance to challenge yourself to write one blog post. And I'm gonna do it! I know, you must be shocked! It's been about six weeks since my last post and now I'm going to write one every day for 31 days?! I know it's crazy, but I'm gearing up for a very special project and thought this would be a good kick in the butt! So, wish me luck and I hope you don't get sick of me!

One last thing. I'm also going to do participate in Stockpile 2009. Mainly because I have knitted gifts I want to get done, but also because it gave me an excuse to buy more lovely Malabrigo. My plan is to do a few hats, a scarf or two and my first shawl. So, wish me luck on this endeavor as well!

Talk to you tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Bestest Kit EVER!

Ok, I know I've said this before, but this has to be the best swap package EVER! I was very lucky and had Prendolyn the Weird as my spoiler. She always adds these great creative touches and this package did not fail to impress! Just look at all the goodies she sent me. :)

First is the FABULOUS bag that I just know was handmade. She opted to go with Ravenclaw colors (film version). Also, if you look in the bottom right hand corner, you'll see a cute little owl as well! So cute!

Next we have some fun silver, fluffy and glittery yarn. But the coolest part? Check out that hand made label! It's a Hinkypunk label... my cabin! Such great attention to detail. :)

Here we have a little goody... tasty blood pops (strawberry for the squeemish).

Plus some stitch markers...

.... and look! More Hinkypunks!

But what is in this box?!...

It's full of beads! Not only that, but they're all in their own little containers (instant organization!) She even included the top ring and a few shrinky-dink charms with the house crests on them. How neat is that?! Homemade stitchmarkers for my next swap kit for sure!

Here is the whole kit all together. Pren also included some tools and wire as well instructions on how to make stitch markers. Super excited!

Thank you SO much Pren! You rock!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pardon the Delay!

I owe a big apology to a most wonderful spoiler! I got my first package in the SP 14 swap and have yet to properly thank and blog about it. As you can see, my spoiler was most generous!

Oh it's a box! Just for me!

It was chock full of goodies! See them all? I'm most excited about those Knit Picks stitch markers. Oh and the candle smells heavenly! Oh how I LOVE me some clean cotton!

And this gorgeous bit of fabric turned out to be a needle roll. Woo hoo! A real home for my needles! :)

And finally, look at this oh so pretty light blue yarn! I'm not sure what kind it is, so if you could let me know, dear spoiler I would be most grateful!

Suffice it to say that I am a VERY happy SP participant! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

P.S. I promise to do better with the next package!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

For the Love of Mal

Have I ever mentioned how much I love swaps? I really do. I love creating fun and exciting packages for my spoilee and meeting all the great people. I love getting things in the mail -- whether it be some crafty goodness from Etsy or some yummy yarn (say from Eat.Sleep.Knit), I love getting mail! Finally, I love getting the package that someone took such care to put together. Even better is getting it from someone who has a BRAND new infant at home and STILL took the time to put together a great package! That's right, I was most fortunate to have Michelle (lazystitch) as a spoiler. And as you can see from the pictures below, she did NOT let a bouncing new baby boy stop her from being a great one!

Here's the pretty blue bag that was waiting in the box!

First we have some edible goodies. A tin of lovely earl grey tea and a bag full of chocolatey goodness! There was (yes, that's past tense, it's already gone) Godiva, Lindor and Dove. Mmm Mmm good!

Next we have some GREAT little tins that I've been eyeing on Etsy. THey're in one of my fav color combos, too.

Then we have some recipes that all have one thing in common -- peanut butter! She noticed that I love the stuff and was looking to do some cooking so she kindly found a few recipes to satisfy both desires

There were also THREE different hat patterns. Two were colorwork (Rav links). There was also the pattern for a Harry Potter themed hat. The best part is she provided yarn for these patterns... it's coming up next!

Ok, I think you've waited long enough for the best part... the MAL! Michelle was VERY generous. She gave me three skeins. There's Polar Morn for the Harry Potter hat and Sapphire Green and Cuarzo for either of the colorwork patterns. They're all GROGEOUS (as usual!) and I can't wait to get started. (But first I have to finish my Mal spoilee's hat!)

Finally, here we have all of the goodies together. Thank you SO very much, Michelle! I love all of it! You rock!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


So, I've been letting things get away from me. Everything from my friends and family to my spoiler/spoilee duties. And all because of a little thing called the 2009 ERA Awards Program. That's right folks, and awards program has come between me and all of you.

You see, there's only one of me and close to 300 entries. All of these entries have to be entered into the database and the nominators have to be charged. I have to arrange for volunteer judges, make sure that all of the materials (commercials, questionnaires and ballots) get to the judges and then make sure the ballots get tabulated. I have the help of a Task Force, but that task force is more bent on getting their own agenda across than helping me. So, this week was the week to get all the materials out -- and I did it, but the skin of my teeth! Well, I got the long form judging materials out. Monday (or Sunday if I can drag myself into the office!) I'll email the short form materials to the judges. Suffice it to say all of my other duties have kind of fallen down on the priority list! I think that I can get back to it though now that the materials have gone out. At least that's what I'm hoping.

So, now you know why it is that I've been so neglectful and absent minded lately. I hope you understand! I hope you're all enjoying your summer... I want to hear all about it!

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walloon Lake, MI

My dad's family has a cabin on a lake in northern Michigan. We have been on Walloon Lake for 75 years now - which of course called for a big family celebration. So, June 19, I made my way up there and began a week of rest and relaxation on the prettiest lake you'll ever see! The best part? Seeing all of my uncles, aunts and cousins. I hope this will become a tradition!

Most mornings began like this. Kind of eerie isn't it?

But they always ended up like this. This is how most days went... reading and getting sun on the dock! Oh the good life!

But first we had a little party to celebrate our diamond anniversary. This is Uncle Stu, my grandpa George's brother and the unofficial head of the family.

We went out to dinner one night as well. Here's my dad and me.

And dad with Elizabeth.

I also had a chance to meet the newest member of the family, Aaron Leo. Here is with Susan, my stepmom. So cute, right?

There was also a bit of cornhole being played.

But it all comes back to the lake. This has to be my favorite shot I think. It was taken around 10pm on the Summer Solstice. God how I love this lake!

All in all it was a fantastic trip. Lots of fun, food and frevolity. Just what I needed right before work got crazy busy. Can't wait for next year!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's your greatest fear?

So, for the the 3rd game at HSKS8 Camp, we have to depict how a boggart would change for us and then how the spell to get rid of it would change the fear.

First, we have my fear... falling!

Next, we have the change. Instead of plunging to my death, I'm now falling onto a water trampoline. Nothing makes me smile and laugh more than playing in the water and jumping up and down!

Friday, July 03, 2009

HSKS8 Game 2, Part 2

So, the second part of the game was to solve the quote below using the answers from the first part. The idea is that the first number cooresponds to the numbered answer and (I assumed) the second number was the letter in that answer, i.e. 14-1 is H. Well, when you do that, the quote you get is "Phen gn doubt, go to the lgbrary." Which SHOULD read, "When in doubt, go to the library." One easy fix would be the 18-1, it should be 18-2. The 20-1 though, I don't know what that is. The only other explanation I can come up with is maybe something was wrong with Ron Weasley when he said it? I can't quite recall what was going on that prompted that quote. Maybe it's SUPPOSED to read like that then?! Anyone remember?

20-1, 14-1, 9-6, 3-3

18-1, 3-3

19-4, 11-2, 9-3, 8-5, 15-9

7-1, 11-2

15-9, 11-2

15-9, 14-1, 9-6

13-8, 18-1, 8-5, 16-3, 6-5, 16-3, 5-3!

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? My fav yarn is probably Malabrigo, but I like just about everything. Ella Rae Classic and Cascade 220 are my go-to yarns. I'm not a big fan of acrylic and novelty yarns though.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Right now I'm using a small LYS
bag... I really need to get something better.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I learned about 4 years ago, but only recently started really getting into it. I would put my skill level at advanced beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have a very old and outdated Amazon wish list under my email address: ashley dot cavell at gmail dot com. I also have an etsy favorites list and there's a small list on my blog.

5. What's your favorite scent? My fav perfume is Happy by Clinique. I really like light and citrusy scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I do have a sweet tooth. I like chocolate, but I'm trying to eat more fruity/chewy candies, like twizzlers, starbursts and skittles. My favorite candy though are Peanut Butter M&Ms. :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I scrapbook occasionally and am getting into making my own cards and stitch markers

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD). I like singer/songwriters like Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, Duffy, James Morrison and the like. Andy yes, I am MP3 ready.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? My favs are blues/greens/greys. But I really cannot STAND oranges and some yellows.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm a single lady with no animals. Wow... that sounds a little sad.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I am more inclined to wear hats and scarves. I do not wear ponchos at all.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I love to knit hats, dishcloths, and bags/purses. I'm really into felting right now.

13. What are you knitting right now? I'm working on a February Lady sweater and my CPH. A lot of things are in my queue and I don't know what to start first.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I love receiving handmade gifts.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer circulars and LOVE my Denise Interchangables! So, plastic is favorable, but I also like bamboo.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I do not, but my roommate does so I'm fortunate enough to be able to use hers.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? My oldest UFO is the basic sweater I started in September of 2005.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? My fav holiday is 4th of July because I LOVE fireworks. I celebrate Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Do books count? I really can't say no to books.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have bought Knit Picks Harmony needles for others, but have not yet tried them myself, so would LOVE that. I have only recently REALLY gotten into knitting, so don't own any books or subscribe to any magazines.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would LOVE to learn Magic Loop!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am in the learning stage still of sock knitting. I wear a size 8.5 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? December 22

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? dramaqt99

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Camp Game #2

In the second volume of the HP books by JK Rowling, The (#1)Chrome Cab Festers, we continue to learn the incredible adventures of Hogwarts student (#2) Parry He Trot and his friends (#3) Oral Weensy and (#4) Angering Her More. Belonging to the house of (#5) Dry Off Grin, they attend Defense Against the (#6) Ark Darts taught by Wizarding celebrity (#7) Oracle Dorky Light, a none-too-bright fellow who cannot even handle pixies!

In The (#8) Chrome Cab Festers, we also meet Dobby a (#9)See Flu Oh for the first time. Determined Dobby seeks to sabotage the return of (#10) Parry He Trot to Hogwarts and is pretty persistent but is unsuccessful. After a few weeks at school, the deceased Ravenclaw student who haunts the girls lavatory, also known as (#11) My Molten Grain, shows (#12) Parry He Trot and (#13) Oral Weensy an old empty diary that dropped through her ghostly form out of thin air!

Many nifty things continue to happen for the next several months… we won’t go into all the juicy details right now… however, the ending is prime reading indeed!! (#14) Parry He Trot finally kills Tom Riddle’s (a.k.a #15 Mold Voter) sneaky diary (which we now know is a #16 Crux Rho) and saves the sister of (#17) Oral Weensy, (#18) Gayly Nine Sew!!!
Oh! Of course, we must mention that the thickheaded (#19) Oracle Dorky Light unintentionally erased his own memory, so he won’t be back for book three, The (#20) Snob In A Froze Parka
  1. Chamber of Secrets
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Ron Weasley
  4. Hermione Granger
  5. Gryffindor
  6. Dark Arts
  7. Gilderoy Lockhart
  8. Chamber of Secrets
  9. House Elf
  10. Harry Potter
  11. Moaning Myrtle
  12. Harry Potter
  13. Ron Weasley
  14. Harry Potter
  15. Voldemort
  16. Horcrux
  17. Ron Weasley
  18. Ginny Weasley
  19. Gilderoy Lockhart
  20. Prisoner of Azkaban

Friday, June 26, 2009


Right now I'm just giving a brief update of my vacation in Northern Michigan. I have some great pictures that I want to include and will give you a more in depth update when I have those ready. However, I CAN tell you that I WAY over packed. I would have been just fine with my swimsuit, a cover-up, two pairs of shirts, a few t-shirts and a simple dress. Also, I brought knitting (I was going to start Rusted Root (Rav Link)), but got caught up in a GREAT book (yet another post to write). Also, Walloon Lake is the most beautiful place on earth and I have the pictures to prove it. Finally, my family is amazing, funny and the best a girl can ask for. Seriously... couldn't have asked for a better week and I can't WAIT to tell you all about it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

3 Truths & 1 Lie

In order to get to know my bunkmates better and to give them a little insite into me, I'm listing three truths and one lie. They'll guess the lie and I'll guess theirs. Should be fun!
  1. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
  2. I am one of eight kids... mixed, not all related though!
  3. I have been to almost every continent.
  4. I have lived in VA my entire life.

So, which one is the lie???? Can you figure it out?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

HSKS Summer Camp 09 - Week 1 Games

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you... The theme for this week's games are to help us get to know our fellow campers and for them to get to know you.

Part 1: "What's in your trunk?" List 10 items beginning with the same letter as your first name that you brought with you to camp.

Cassie C is bringing....
A Cat
Camphor Oil
Camomile tea
Calamine lotion

Part 2: WINGO! Wizard Bingo

Get WINGO! by finding fellow campers with these unique attributes all in one row or column of the WINGO board. **I have gotten all of the O's so far, but will add the other columns as I get them.**

O1: Emma Gorodok
O2: Emma Scamander
O3: Pandora Phelps (antique glass)
O4: Cassandra Grubbly-Plank
O5: Bevin Rae Mooney

Part 3: Get to know your Spoiler & Spoilee

Go through your spoiler AND spoilee’s projects on Ravelry (I think everyone has at least 1 thing I’d hope!) and comment on or favorite something you like. This is another way to get to know them better.
  • My spoilee is Selena Starfire. She has over 100 projects... so many lovely things to choose from. I'm going to with her Hey Teach (Rav link), because she worked especially hard on it and it came out BEAUTIFULLY! Way to go, Selena!
  • My spoiler is Prendolyn the Weird. She is both a knitter and a crocheter, wich I find super cool. I have tried and tried to learn how to crochet, but just can't get it. My fav project of hers is the Chinese Chomping Cabbage (Rav link) since it's just so gosh darn cute!

Friday, June 05, 2009

15 Books in 15 Minutes

Saw this question on another blog that I read and thought it would be great to answer.

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

1. A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle
2. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. House of the Spirits - Isabele Allende
5. Just as Long as We're Together - Judy Blume
6. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. The Eight - Katherine Neville
8. The Boxcar Children - Gertrude Chandler Warner
9. Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself - Judy Blume
10. Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
11. The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
12. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
13. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
14. Nickle & Dimed - Barbara Ehrenreich
15. Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Down River Review

Down River (Hardcover) Down River by John Hart

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

After two of the bookstore emails I get recommended this author, I decided to pick up his first book. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it at the store I was at, so I opted for this one instead. And let me tell you, I'm not sorry I did! This book definitely lived up to its Edgar Allen Award worthiness. The characters were flawed and passionate and the plot kept you from putting the book down. I am a fan of mysteries and can, from time to time, figure out who did it before the story is over. With this book though, that was definitely NOT the case. I love a good twist at the end (as long as its not TOO out of left field!) and this was a great one. Even better was the fact that not everything was completely resolved at the end. You knew that these people's lives were still evolving and I really like that.

View all my reviews.

Vision in White Review

Vision In White (Bride Quartet #1) Vision In White by Nora Roberts

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Surprise, surprise... Nora Roberts got back into the swing of things! I wouldn't go so far as to say she's back to her old level of excellence, but she has CERTAINLY improved upon her last two trilogies. The two main characters were well developed and extrememly charming. The plot was well thought out and went at a good pace and I'm actually really looking forward to what will happen next. I'm still not sure if it was worth the trade paper price, but I'm not feeling like I want my money back! Thanks, Nora! :)

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

I have a beautiful dogwood tree in my front yard. It's in bloom right now, so I snapped some pictures to show my mom. You see, her tree is a little sickly and never quite looks like it's going to make it. Well, as many of you may know, the DC area (and beyond) has been showered upon for days and, well, the tree has taken a hit. So, here you have it...



So, there you have it. In less than a week, my tree went from being lush and lovely to... well, not so lush and lovely. Ahh... Spring is here!