Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Graham Cracker Houses

My son's class made Gingerbread Houses out of graham crackers today. They turned out so CUTE. I will post the pictures as soon as I am done with my Christmas knitting......

Finally, the picture! Didn't it turn out so cute? He was so proud =)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rainbow Elf

Rainbow Elf
A hat designed by Gryffngurl
All rights reserved for the hat design and photos

I LOVE to make hats for the holidays. This year, I wanted to knit something different from what I usually make. This pattern incorporates something that I didn't think I would enjoy - making stripes (with all the weaving in!) and a design element that I love - lots of floppiness.

This is just a formula. You will notice in the instructions that I did not include details for when to change stripes. I made several versions of this hat; all of them have stripes with different widths and different colors. My favorite washable yarn is Plymouth Encore. If your LYS carries this brand and has the neon colors I suggest using the neon yellow, green, and orange. For the red and blue, I suggest finding the brightest that you can find.

If you want less of a "tail", you can increase on every 4th row (instead of on the 7th row).
If you want more of a "tail" knit the 12 stitches after the first increase row for more than 6 rows.**

M1=Make one increase. Here is a link if you are not familiar with this increase, please look at this link: http://tutorials.knitpicks.com/wptutorials/make-1-increase/
PM=Place a stitchmarker
SM=Slip marker from left to right needle

Supplies used:
Size 9 circular needles (or any size that gives you gauge)
Worsted weight yarn in whatever colors you would like. I used Plymouth Encore.
6 stitchmarkers (one different from the others )

Gauge: 4.5 stitches/inch


Cast on 6 stitches (I used Judy's Magic Cast On). However you can use any circular cast on. PM the stitchmarker that is different from the others to indicate beginning of round.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: *K1, M1, PM repeat from * to end (12 stitches)

Knit 6 rows even **

Next row: *K2, M1, SM, repeat from * to end (18 stitches)

Knit 6 rows even

Next row: *K3, M1, SM, repeat from * to end (24 stitches)

Continue in this manner, increasing 6 stitches on every 7th row until you have 84 stitches.

Knit even until hat measures 14 inches from the top.

Next row, change to K1, P1 rib pattern.

Knit even for about 3 inches.

Bind off (I use Jeny's Stretchy Bind Off)
VoilĂ ! Your hat is done! 

Please let me know if you have any questions. =) Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's not you, it's me

I love this post from Momastery:

I've often felt that being an introvert is a social stigma - kind of like you need to be an extrovert in order to succeed in life. I know this to be false but knowing this doesn't make feel better. I don't hide from the knock on the door, but I can definitely empathize with the struggle of "maintaining friendships". I am not the friend that enjoys daily phone calls. However, this doesn't mean that I don't think about you and wonder how you are doing. I think about you often, actually, and often look at the phone and think, hmmmm I wonder what she is doing. But then I justify not calling you because I think that you have more important things to do than talk to me on the phone - most of you have families, after all. In fact, I think that I am pretty low maintenance as far as a friends are concerned, and am happy with the occasional email that means that you are thinking about me. An occasional morning for coffee or breakfast would be nice too, but not necessary. 

Also, I don't like to discuss personal things that I am struggling with, unless it is something that I can realistically do something about. Case in point, I will complain about my lack of warm winter clothing. I can do something about this - just went shopping yesterday and found a new consignment store that I like (woohoo!). But I will not complain about the leaves in the backyard, because frankly, it will all decompose anyway and give me dirt for the spring. I have high hopes for a garden in 2014. Wish me good luck =) 

Also, in case you would rather see what it is like to be me in pictures:

I love this. 

Anyway, I hope this makes you understand me a little better. It's not you, it's me...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Water Park Day

© 2014 Claire Toney

Water Park Day today! This is my favorite shot of the 200+ that I took this morning of the kids playing. My patience paid off =)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A hero in the making...

What a great day to be at the park! While playing and socializing with friends, a firetruck showed up. We meandered over and the firefighters allowed the children to shoot the hose. My son is at that age where heroes such as these make him starstruck. I know that it won't always be this way, but I can wish all the same...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Definition of Famous

My little boy, in a conversation with his daddy:

Alex: "Is the mailman famous?"
Daddy: "No, why do you say that?"
Alex: "Because he's everywhere..."

OMG this made me laugh! So I decided to share it with you. I hope it made you laugh too =)

The photo below is from my children's school's garden. They are growing so many things....I am amazed by it all. I will be sharing more photos of the fruits of their labor, especially since school will be starting in less than a month. Happy Summer everyone!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day at the Beach

We headed for the Point Reyes National Seashore yesterday. We had high hopes for cooler, but sunny weather. We got half our wish, as it was about 62 degrees at the coast. Donning sweatshirts and sweaters, we hiked to the lighthouse and back and saw many cypress trees. I mention this because my son's first grade class is named "Cypress Tree" and I find myself pointing out these trees whenever I see them. My kids humor me because they know I am in charge of the snacks - ha! Just joking.

Anyway, here are some pictures (I know, I know, so cliché) of our little outing. We will be going back, though...hopefully with not so much fog.....



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Outer Space in my backyard

Okay, not really. As you can probably guess, the photos are of the fireworks that we had in the back yard. We are allowed to shoot small fireworks in our community and we do so every year with our kids. Our daughter was with a friend, seeing the big fireworks this year, so we got to enjoy some with our little guy and the dogs (who did not enjoy them, one little bit....Pippin wanted me to carry him the whole time, and when I didn't, he hid in the tall grass next to the orange tree). Anyway, here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Waving to the Waves

Waving to the Waves by Gryffngurl
Waving to the Waves, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.
My kids and I went to the beach with some friends yesterday to escape the 3-digit Sacramento heat. We wound up a little further than we were planning and wound up at Half Moon Bay. The conditions were perfect for running in the sand and running from the (large) waves.

Friday, June 14, 2013

House among flowers?

House among flowers? by Gryffngurl
House among flowers?, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

I took this at Daffodil Hill this past spring. It is so pretty there!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The View......

The View...... by Gryffngurl
The View......, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

The view at one of the beaches at South Yuba River. Stunning......I wish we had more time to relax here. Unfortunately, the day was getting hot and there was more of the trail to follow. I think I foresee another visit this summer with the kids!

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Little Pentathlonian

My daughter participated in the Live Oak Pentathlon today. Her city state was Corinth. She won 2 wreaths for Beauty, Grace, and Style in Long Jump and Javelin. You go girl!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Alighting by Gryffngurl
Alighting, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

I miss my outings in Folsom....I convinced the family to go out with me yesterday and I am happy to say that it went well. The weather was perfect and the birds were active.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Doppelganger? by Gryffngurl
Doppelganger?, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

I took this near the river last year. I LOVE fog. At this point, I had been walking for about half an hour and the fog was lifting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ornamental Gourd Containers

Ornamental Gourd Containers by Gryffngurl
Ornamental Gourd Containers, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

Taken at Chalk It Up! Sacramento 2012. I met the man who created these gourds. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Gaggle of Ladybugs?

A Gaggle of Ladybugs? by Gryffngurl
A Gaggle of Ladybugs?, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

Caught these last summer when we planted a couple of bushes in the front yard. They were supposed to eat the aphids that I found on the plants. They did their job and flew away the next day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Which mode of transportation?

from Christmas Eve 2011. I liked the shadows =0)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Autumn

My Autumn by Gryffngurl
My Autumn, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

Autumn in California doesn't always come when I want it to. It took a while for me to catch them this colorful.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Untitled by Gryffngurl
Untitled, a photo by Gryffngurl on Flickr.

Imagine my surprise - what a wonderful New Year's present. This made it onto Explore in Flickr. Thank you to everyone who helped make it an explored image!