Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sweater sleeve dog coat

I've been meaning to post this little tutorial for some time. Over the years, I've made quite a few dog sweaters out of sweatshirts and felted sweaters. It all started on a camping trip when the weather turned cold and my poor dog Chloe was shivering her little tail off. In a pinch, I fashioned a sweater for her out of the sleeve of an old shirt the hubby had brought along. It worked so well, I kept making them. It works best for a small to medium sized dog. Sleeves (especially sweatshirt ones) stretch more than you might think.

Here is how it's done.

If you use a sweater, find an old 100% wool one and run it through the hot wash and dryer. You want it to be good and felted so that it will be less likely to unravel. You can also use and old sweatshirt arm.


Depending on the size of your dog, you might be able to leave the sleeve cuff on. In this case, I cut a little off the cuff off to make the opening a little wider.


Next, cut armpit side of the sleeve to make it the length that you'd like for your dog.


I use a zig-zag stitch to sew around the raw edges. This gives the openings a little stretch.


Next, I cut holes on either side to accommodate the dog's front legs. it is best to measure the distance between the dog's front legs and make the holes that far apart.




Zig-zag around these holes.


That's it. Try it on and let your pooch show off a little.



Evolution of a Christmas photo

Last year I neglected to get my holiday cards sent out, so this year I was determined to get it done. Following the time honored Pagac family tradition, I tried to get a photo with Lily and the dogs. At first, it looked like it might work...



Chip was doing fairly well, but Tater was another story.


After a few minutes, Corey noticed the chickens high-tailing it across the yard to Lily. It boggles my mind, but the chickens LOVE her. They follow her like puppy dogs in the yard and let her carry them around without resistance. They became this tame from her spending so much time playing in the coop this summer. I've never seen anything like it and my family has had chickens nearly all my life.

Lily sees the chickens coming to her...




Pretty soon, the dogs were forgotten.






Every good chicken deserves a kiss, right? Bird flu, shmird flu.







And the one that made it on the card...


Thanks to my friend Aimee for the hand-me-down handmade dress she's wearing in the pics :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shassypire is history!

We've been battling the pacifier (shassypire, as Lily calls it) for what seems like forever. Lily had her first dentist appointment last month and the dentist confirmed that we definitely needed to get rid of it. She recommended the "cold turkey" method. I was not thrilled about that because we had tried that a few months back when we had misplaced all of the pacifiers one evening. It was time for bed and we decided that would be the night she would go without. Lets just say after hours of crying, Corey and I were on our hands and knees scrambling around the house at 4 am, looking for a damn pacifier.

This time we decided to try a tactic that my friend Kim suggested. Cut the end of the pacifier a little every day until it is just too short to stay in her mouth. This worked like a charm. She just slowly quit asking for it. It's been 3 days without a pacifier now. Whoo hoo!

There are no pictures with this post but I did put some new pics of Lily and Corey up on the work blog. You can check it out here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Girl time

Pie crust

Lily and I had a fun "girls only" evening tonight. We made broccoli quiche with the most AMAZING crust thanks to tips from our friend Shannon. I made my typical recipe only used frozen butter which I grated on a cheese grater and kept in the freezer until the very last second (per Shannon's instructions). I was skeptical because after I rolled it out, it looked pretty much like it always does. After it baked, though, it puffed up into tender, flakey perfection.

Pie crust

Afterward, we indulged in mud masks. lily wasn't so sure about having the mud on her own face, but loved applying it to mine.

Mud mask1

Mud mask1

Mud mask1

Sorry the pictures aren't the best, they were taken with my phone. You might be able to see the mark on Lily's temple. It was a Trick Or Treating injury from last night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Who needs TV when you have this kind of entertainment?

Here are a few videos to share from today.

In the last week or so, Lily has really been interested in the chickens. It seems a little funny to me, since we have had them her entire life. Chickens are nothing new around here. All of the sudden she wants to "pet 'em" all the time. She likes naming the different parts of the chicken and getting in the coop with them. For the most part, the chickens are quite tolerant of her catching them and carrying them around. If they tire of her, they will escape to the enclosed top of the coop and she will patiently sit and wait below. Before long, they come right back down to her. I think they really like her. She was inside the coop when I took the following video.

The next video was taken this evening as the sun was setting and Corey called in some Barred Owls for Lily. I have to say, Corey can do a pretty mean bird call. It is part of what attracted me to him in the first place. No joke! One of our first dates was driving to a reservoir to go bird watching. We watched birds all afternoon and then his hunk of junk car broke down on the way back to campus and I had to call Laura to pick us up. But I digress.... In this video you can hear Corey call 2 owls in. They flew right up to the yard where we could see them. Unfortunately, they were too small to show up on the iPhone video. All you could see were trees, so I didn't include that. Turn up the sound and you should be able to hear Corey calling and the owls calling back.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to share a recipe. I may have shared this one before, but it is worth mentioning again since it is one of my all-time favorites this time of year. They are called Belgian Spice Cookies and you can find the recipe here. I make them extremely thin and crunchy. Almost like a cracker. They have just the right amount of spice and are completely addicting. I alter the recipe a bit by rolling them very thin using lots of flour to prevent sticking to the cutting board. I also do not refrigerate the dough, as I have found that it is much easier to roll when it is not cold.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

On my needles

Today I was inspired by Soule Moma's "On the Needles" post. I love seeing other people's projects, particularly the things that are still being worked on. I love seeing the creative process midstream, and not just the end result. So, I decided to do my own little "On the Needles" post.

In the past, I have been a fairly monogamous knitter, finishing one item before starting the next. Recently, though, I have have been working on more and more projects at once. I do this because I try to match my knitting to what I am doing. For example:

This lace scarf requires quite a bit of concentration. I have to work on it only when there are minimal distractions, like when Lily is asleep. The pattern is a little too intricate for me to remember, so I have to read a chart as I make the stitches. Does this yarn look familiar? I spun it from Stew. It is his her first and only baby coat. The softest yarn ever.


If I need something a little simpler, I can work on Lily's second sock. Here is the first one I completed earlier this week. I started knitting these for her because, as I was knitting a pair for myself, she kept wanting to try them on. She'd try the huge sock on her foot over and over as I knit it up. How can I deny knitting her a pair of her own since she so obviously appreciates hand knits?


When I need something easier still, I grab a washcloth. I have the Ballband washcloth pattern memorized and since it is knit out of thicker yarn, I can knit it more easily without looking. Washcloths are my playground or "chasing Lily around the yard" knitting. I can throw my yarn in a bag and walk around knitting. Today the lady at the park gate commented how funny it is to see me walking around while knitting.


I knit while Lily talks to airplanes...


or gets into other forms of trouble.


In the last month I have done a lot of baby knitting for photo props and gifts since I had a couple newborn shoots. I made 2 newborn stocking caps, 3 newborn nest/pods, a cute little knit frog toy and finished up a pair of booties that had been sitting for 2 years. I started those booties for my niece, Grace and finally finished them in time for her little sister's arrival. More pics of the pods and my cute new niece on my Business blog. There are also some new pictures of Lily on there, unrelated to knitting.

The frog being blocked


The booties

Knit stuff

One of the hats

Knit stuff

And finally, another non-knitting related picture of Lil.


For the knitters out there, patterns and additional project information can be found on my Ravelry projects page. Look for me there as SpringPeeper. If you are a fellow Raveler, please friend me!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Lily and the bear

I've been meaning to post about the cute little things lily says at 2 and a half. She's starting pronounce them better, so I need to hurry up and document the Lily-isms so we don't forget.

Here are a few of my favorites:

She calls a pacifier "Shassy-pire" or just "shaspire", for short.

In Twinkle Twinkle Little Star she sings "Like a vitamin in the sky."

In Row Row Row Your Boat, she sings "Merray, Murray, Murray, Murray, Life is but a dream". (Murray is my mom's donkey).

In the ABC Song, she sings "Now I know my ABCs, nuck nuck, nuck nuck, nuck nuck nuck".

The Sesame Street song where they sing "Sunny Days" she sings "Doe doe day".

I took the photo above with my cell phone at the Library. She absolutle loves the big stone bears. She kept, hugging, kissing and talking to the mama and baby bear. She was explaining to the mama bear what was going by on the street and even gave her some high-fives and fist bumps. I had trouble getting her to leave them when it was time to go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've known Chloe's mom, Lex, since I was 14, I think. Now we are lucky enough to have girls who are just a month apart in age. It is so fun to watch Chloe and Lily hanging out and having fun when Lex and I get together. I'm not sure who has more fun together, us or them. I only wish we lived closer and were able to see each other more often.

Here they are this afternoon, sharing a snack while watching "Shaun the Sheep".



Saturday, September 10, 2011


I am finally ready to sit down and catch up on my summer blogging. I can't believe it has been a month and a half since I posted anything. There has been so much going on this summer and, unfortunately, blogging fell pretty far down on the "to do" list.

Lets see. Back in June, we were busy packing and getting ready for the big move to Monroe Reservoir. It is really unbelievable how much stuff we have accumulated over the years. Packing it all up makes you realize just how much useless crap you actually have. I donated and threw out what seemed like a ton of stuff, but we still pretty much filled up the moving trailer. We packed all of the boxes into the trailer in late June. We then locked it all up and headed out for a long planned vacation with Corey's family to Dale Hollow, in Tennessee. We stayed in a cozy cabin where Corey got to do quite a bit of fishing and I enjoyed some extra knitting and spinning time. Directly from Tennessee, we headed to our yearly family reunion with my mom's side of the family in Kentucky. As always, we had a lot of fun hanging out, swimming, setting off fireworks, etc. Lily especially loved petting and talking to my aunt's horses. She is getting to be quite the horse lover.

It was in Kentucky that the trajectory of our summer started to get a bit off kilter. Corey was playing basketball with my cousins and BAM! He tore his ACL. Mind you, we were planning to drive home from KY and move the very next day. In the end, my mom agreed to come home with us and help out so that I wouldn't have to move all by myself with a 2 year old. We were able to get everything packed up and cleaned and pushed the move date back by a day. Then, the week after our move, Corey went in for surgery. And just for good measure, someone backed into my car. Because, you know, I needed one more thing to juggle (car repair). In the end, we survived. Corey healed. Lily was taken care of. I didn't go bonkers (okay, maybe just a little). We are pretty much settled in at this point. Which I am very, very happy about.

We are really enjoying the new house. We have made it our own and it is quite cozy and bright. It is set back from the road, which gives Lily plenty of room to play without being close to the road. We have taken full advantage of the beach, spending many a happy day splashing in the water and eating sandy PB&Js.

I thought I'd share a few photos of the house.

new house_1

Notice Stew in the playpen out front in the photo below. She likes hopping around in there, eating leaves. Yes. I said "She". I took "him" in to get neutered and they spayed "her" instead.

new house

We have a pretty driveway...

new house_2

Between the house and garage is a large raised bed area that we are using for a garden.

new house_3

Now that I'm semi caught up, maybe it won't take me so long to post again. I hope.