Friday, October 28, 2011


Last night when I went to bed I couldn't sleep. 12am rolled around, 1am swiftly followed and so on. I woke up this morning not rested at all and in a foul mood.

I was grumpy with my husband, I was grumpy with the dog, I was grumpy with myself. We left the house late. Got caught in the line up at Tim Horton's where I ordered a steeped tea and a coffee but received two coffees instead. Didn't figure out this until 5km later. I don't like coffee. Made Mr. Frogged wind my yarn into a ball while I drove. Was grumpy with him for dropping it on the floor. Was grumpy with the other drivers for being stupider than usual. The Mister finished winding. Was grumpy because there was a knot in the yarn. He gave me his coffee which has more sugar. I was grumpy with the coffee for having grinds at the bottom. Got to work and I was grumpy because the dog ate my Chatelaine magazine during our car ride.

Texted my brother and cousin to find out if they got their Kris Kringle email yet. I was grumpy when they didn't reply quick enough.

I got a text from my cousin. A friend of his is very ill so he wants to donate his Kris Kringle gift to his friend to help make ends meet. What a beautiful and inspirational thought to go into the coming season with.

Felt ashamed for being grumpy all morning. By comparison my day is perfection. That'll learn me. HE certainly does work in mysterious ways.

Perspective. Gets me every time.

Hope your all having a lovely Friday and that nothing makes you grumpy today.

Happy crafting, friends.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kickin' the Habit

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. ~Mark Twain

This weekend I was kickin' the habit. I had all the usual symptoms. I ate more. I became emotional at the commercials. I even acted irrationally once or twice. But really? Do you blame me? I abstained from the Creativ Festival.

It's not that I didn't have offers. Oh, I had offers. I coulda gone, like, ten times over. But, psh, I looked those people in the eye and said, man, I'm way too cool for that.

Actually, I had more like one offer and I rather sheepishly declined it after a long and serious, not to mention a bit guilt-ridden glance at my stash. I realized that there was nothing at the festival I needed and that I had over 10 projects waiting for me in yarn form in my stash. So, I didn't go like a good girl.

So, what did I do instead? I threw a high tea for my girlfriends! Yay!!

The tea entailed homemade scones, homemade Victoria sponge, finger sandwiches, and mimosas all round. Not to mention tea and lots of it! It was fabulous. In fact, I can't wait to do it again!

On Sunday I also made dinner for my parents. For dinner I decided to honour the other half of my heritage by making bracciole in homemade tomato sauce with rigatoni (yum). AND my dad liked it! This is big news as my dad can tell you to the milligram what is missing from a recipe. He's usually right, to boot. Yet still, victory was mine! Hahaha.

So with all of this grocery shopping, baking, entertaining, and cooking I barely had time to think of needlework, nevermind the ginormous festival wreaking havoc on the craft community of downtown Toronto.

I do, however have a couple of confessions to make...
1) I have a huge stash enhancement that I haven't mentioned to you yet,
2) It was free, and
3) I'm not going to tell you any more about it yet. Sorry guys!

Lastly, I've decided on the costume...Betty Page. The Notorious Betty Page. A bit scandalous, yes, but I'll be tasteful, I promise. And Mr. Frogged? Well, he'll be the photographer of course. Don't hold your breath for pictures on this one, though. I'm not brazen enough to post a swimsuit picture to the web.

Tell me what your Halloween plans are!

Until next time, happy crafting!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 17, 2011

17 Different Ways...

It's mid-October and after a rain-filled weekend spent in front of this:

Crocheting this:

And bathing and brushing this after a mucky trip to the apple farm:

I realized that Halloween is almost upon us.

I have to say, there are about 17 different ways I don't want to dress up this year.

"Seventeen?" you say. Yes, 17. This is regularly my argument number of choice and I really do have that many reasons. Don't believe me? Read on...

1. There is the choice of costumes readily available for ladies: sexy something, witch, or animal. Not promising.

2. One size DOES NOT even fit all of ME let alone all. Costume makers when will you learn??

3. It's cold here. I don't know why no one knows this but in Southern Ontario on Halloween it is almost invariably winter coat weather and yet costumes for anyone over the age of 3 are too cheap/skimpy to keep anyone warm.

4. I'd rather embark in some stash enhancement with my spare cash than spend it on a costume I can't ever and won't ever wear again.

5. Let's be serious, I'd rather be knitting. Duh.

6. Or crocheting.

7. Or spinning.

8. Or blogging.

9. Is it just me or does anyone else get candy apple and chip crumbs down the cleavage of their Halloween costume???

10. There just isn't any way I'm going anywhere dressed as a "Snooky". I don't care what pop culture tells me.

11. After age 9 face paint is gross and greasy. I mean I'm sure it is before age 9 too but you tend not to notice as much.

12. Wigs are hot and itchy.

13. Masks, even new ones, smell weird.

14. As someone who is 26, married and without children I am in the stage of life in which I need amuse neither the immature boys of my youth nor my own offspring with my costume choice.

15. Most people I want to be for Halloween are thinner than me.

16. Being Stephanie Pearl McPhee for Halloween would be rather an obscure reference for most of the people I'll see Halloween night.

And lastly,

17. I just don't wanna, alright? Is that so bad?

Despite all this I do have a costume party to attend in which I fear I will stand out more if I don't dress up than if I do so here is the short list:

#1: Betty Page
#2: The Paper Bag Princess (by Robert Munsch)
#3: Zombie Slumber Party Girl

Leave a comment to tell me what you'll be for Halloween or what you think I should be.

Until then, happy crafting.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 14, 2011

Giving Thanks

Hello friends of the Frogged blog!

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving 2011 is come and gone after 600 km, 2 turkey dinners, 1 hank of hand spun, 1/2 a batch of rutabaga sacrificed, 30-something new friends and a bit too much hard cider later. If you are not Canadian then let me fill you in. This past weekend is when us Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. If you are Canadian, leave me a comment about your thanksgiving weekend. Hopefully you were all able to spend it doing something wonderful and eating something glorious.

My weekend began with an evening spent making stuffing and mashed rutabaga with one of my best girlfriends. In everyone's life there are people who you may not speak to for weeks but once you get together, it's like time had stopped in between. She is one of those people.

Saturday morning began bright and early with a road trip tradition - Tim Hortons!

The roads were fabulously empty and lined with the gorgeous colours of autumn in Ontario.

It was about this point when it dawned on us. The rutabaga and stuffing were still in the fridge. At home. Excellent.

So, around we turned. One and a quarter hours back home to get everything we'd left behind.

We got back home, packed the missing items into the car and were back on our way. Having stopped quickly at the pet store on our way back out, we were just leaving the parking lot when we heard the dreaded crash. The corningware had slipped. The Mister stopped the car while I got out to rearrange everything. Upon opening the car door, the jolted corningware came crashing to the tarmac splitting it directly in four. Bad day. Fortunately the rutabaga was in two containers so only one was ruined.

Back on the road we found ourselves faced with midday traffic. So, we had to take a detour.

But we got there in the end. At 1:30 (after 5 hours on the road, when it should have been 2-1/4 hours) we arrived.

Once we got settled in, I finally finished my first crack at spinning. I still LOVE it!!! Tonka, I learned, is desperate to eat the roving so I had to spin quickly. My Nan had never spun yarn before so I asked her to help me set the twist.

The yarn itself is very, very slubby and goes from about a fingering weight to a chunky but most of it is about a worsted weight. I kind of like it, despite the beginner's mistakes.

As we wound it onto the chair back I relaxed some of the over-twisted yarn before tying it into a hank. (If anyone has any suggestions for the best way to spin without over-twisting, let me know.)

You can see here what the yarn looked like before it was set.

Next it went into hot soapy water followed by super cold water, and back again about five times. Half way through I replaced the soapy water with clear water to rinse because I forgot my "Eucalan" at home.

Last it was hung to dry over the sink and by no small miracle it did not need to be weighted. It had somehow turned into the lovely balanced yarn I knew it could be.

The rest of the time I spent crocheting by the lake.
Look how far I got on the bobble blanket! I'm working like a woman possessed to get it done because I'm dying to start my ripple blanket.

Crocheting by the lake was lovely and was only interrupted by turkey dinner in which I was forced to save some of the fated rutabaga. It was around this point that the hard cider began flowing. I sound like a lush, but I should point out that for me, two glasses constitutes "too much".

On Monday morning Mr. Frogged fished while I took in the Indian summer weather and the peacefulness and, naturally, crocheted.

Last stop, turkey (and ham) dinner #2 and back south and then, gloriously, home. No matter what - I always miss my house.

Now I'm all settled in for a weekend of crafts, artwork, apple-picking and more! Hope your weekend's great too. Until next time, happy crafting!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week In Review

Good greif! This week was both never-ending and too short all at once. Monday night I was over-ambitious. I learned that Ikea furniture, no matter how compactly packaged, was not designed to be easily maneuvered by 5'-0" tall women. Let's just say that the box won and I still have a sizable bruise on my forearm that would likely inspire doubt from medical staff should I try to explain how I got it.
On Sunday and Monday nights I cut up all of the veggies to make Branston Pickle .

I followed the linked recipe exactly but when I tasted it after it had cooked for a bit (and good thing I did) I found it was way too sweet for me. I doctored it with about an extra cup of malt vinegar, about 1/2 a cup of Molasses and the key ingredient...tomato purée. The tomato, as it happened, was absolutely key and changed it right to what I wanted.

Another taste, this time with the requisite cheese, and I knew I had it. And boy, did that recipe ever make a lot of Branston Pickle. I'm sure we are now set up for life.

Mr. Frogged was away Tuesday and Wednesday to help my brothers set up at the new cottage. For a mercy, all of the scheduled deliveries did arrive on time. As it happens, persistence is essential in getting things done. What the Mister missed at home was this....

My Knitpicks order arrived on Tuesday! My cousin is expecting a little boy any second now and that mass of yarn is going to become a nice ripple blanket with a colour repeat of this...

Think of each skein as a row of ripply goodness and then repeat. This was one of the highlights of the week for sure. :) Now if I could just make some more progress on the bobble blanket, I'll be able to get to the ripple before Christmas.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent gathering more supplies for the cottage.

Tune in for a secondary blog post later all about the thanksgiving weekend.

Ciao for now and happy crafting!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 03, 2011

Letters Unsent

Dear Change Room Attendant,

I am very happy with my recently purchased sweater but my shopping experience could have been improved by the following:

1) Please treat the people in each change-room equally. I do not appreciate not receiving any service whilst 2 of your other customers are repeatedly asked if they require further assistance.

2) When I send my husband to discreetly ask you for the next size up from that which is in his hand (without actually saying the dreaded size out loud), do not reply at a volume loud enough for the shopping mall to hear that "What? A size x? No, they don't make them that big in petite. Hmm, I might have it in regular."  If you are going to be tactless about it, at least take it the whole hog and say "Now madam, you are either allowed to be fat, or short, it is forbidden to be both."  I take 4" off the bottom of petite sized pants, and you would like me to try the regular?  Is that a joke?

3) Kindly after performing the second item on this list, at least have the decency not to continuously ask one of the two ladies mentioned in item one if they would like you to get the pants in the next size down, a zero perhaps, because after all, that particular cut is designed for "curvy" women. 

Yours Truly,
Perturbed Petite

Dear furniture store delivery coordinators,

Shockingly, when a client requests repeatedly that the furniture order be delivered on Wednesday, he or she most likely would like for the furniture delivery to be scheduled for that day.  I realize this can be confusing as there are a whole host (7 to be exact) of days in a week, and this may get to be too much for you to deal with.  However, it would be prudent to apply some forethought to the situation and do all that is in your power to actually get said furniture to said home on said day. 

Best Wishes,
Disgruntled Deliveree

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Unexpected Visitors

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a phone call, the result of which being that you will have to pull a dinner party together from thin air in 30 minutes? Think 1950's apron-clad homemaker, just about to pour the mister's post-grind drink from a decanter on the sideboard when the phone rings, startling her into spilling the drink slightly on the carpet. The boss is coming for dinner.

This was my Saturday night last week. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, a family dinner was relocated to our house and the bill of fare was up to us. I am not complaining. In fact I kind of enjoyed it.  The experience gave me a great appreciation for improvising and also great pride in the outcome, plus I'm pretty sure that Mr. Frogged actually thinks I'm superwoman. I could easily have ordered pizza and tossed together a salad like a normal, sane person but in case you haven't noticed, I'm neither of those most of the time. So instead I whipped something up.

This was our menu:

Hors D'Oeuvres
Perogies with Sour Cream

Squash Soup

Main Course
Apple Baked Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Yams and Parsnips
Mashed Potatoes
Peas and Corn

Cake brought and baked by our guest

Since I managed to so quickly whip this up, I thought I'd share one of the recipes with you.  Here is how to make my Sqaush Soup. 



1 Medium Butternut Squash
1 Medium Pepper Squash
Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Stalks of celery
1/2 Yellow Onion
Black Pepper
2 individual packets OXO Low Sodium Chicken Bouillon Powder
Sour Cream
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tsp salt

  1. Cut both squash in half and scoop out and discard seeds.  Peel both squash and cut into 2" cubes.  Place in pot with water to cover and place on stove at medium-high heat.
  2. Once water is boiling add OXO and table salt and stir to blend. 
  3. Chop celery and onion into 1/4" bits and saute in a separate pan in the oil.  Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and a generous sprinkling of sage and thyme. 
  4. Once the squash are soft, turn down heat to low and blend carefully using an immersion blender.
  5. Add the sauteed vegetables to the blended soup and let simmer.
  6. Add 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar and stir. 
  7. Serve with fresh ground black pepper, and a table spoon of sour cream in each dish. 
  8. Enjoy!