Welcome to DreamChallenge

Having a dream to share my knitting creations, cooking adventures and caregiving stories with others is now a reality. I bet you know someone right now who is at home taking care of someone they love. A phone call, e-mail, note card or some food would all be appreciated. Sometimes an offer to stand in for that person is a wonderful gift. Think about getting a hair cut, what if there is no time or person to sit with your loved one? What can you do to help someone else, or if you are that caregiver, how can you get people to understand you would like to see them or have their help? Knitting helps me stay calm. Knitting helps my blood pressure stay normal. What helps you? Cooking is an adventure for me. My husband is a dedicated 'clean-up' person. Join us on this part of our life's journey.

Choosing to send out cards is one way I stay in touch with others. I address cards on Sunday and my husband puts them in the mail on Monday. There is always someone who needs a card.

After several months of blogging there is a reality that lots of people really enjoy this activity. Positively delightful people, living life to the best of their ability. There is such fun in hearing from others who have ideas, stories, crafts all to share with those who choose to read. Thank you my new friends in this unknown world/way of communicating.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Keri Beth's Contest

My friend Vicki has an amazing blog.  Here is the link: 
If you visit her and enter herVera Bradley Contect, Little Keri Beth will choose a winner on December 27.  Please tell her you saw her link on DreamChallenge blog.
Good Luck and while you are their, check out our dinner party.  It was so much fun and Vicki captures the fellowship as no other could.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jack's Sweater

Well, putting more than one picture at a time seems to be a project I need lots of work to accomplish.  Please stay with me.
As I said on the last post, Jack is growing, eating and generally pleasing his parents and grandparents.  Although his Uncle Bob has not seen him in person, you can see the happy smile on his face just holding the gift made with love for Jack.  (Some of you know, Uncle Bob is my beloved husband.)
Here is the sweater and hat made to help Jack celebrate Christmas:


My goodness, so many babies lately.  Three beautiful sweaters are either on their way or ready to go.
Each one was a joy to knit.  As some of you know, I like to pray for the child and family as I knit.  Two of the little ones are here and one more to come very soon.  Wanted to share the different styles made for these little ones. 
The first picture of this new design was posted before it was completed.  Here it is with the buttons sewn on the side for a little boy.  The bundle was 8 pounds and 10 ounces.  I made a 3 month size because the child has relatively small bones parents.  Surprise, little one came into this world a little larger than expected but extremely healthy.  Praise God.

This next sweater is for our nephew.  I made it using two yarns twisted together.  Great for Christmas Season and Valentine's Day soon after.  Little Jack is doing great and so are his parents.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Front MU Sweater

Ok this time I got two pictures and here is the front, hat and booties:

The colors are so very MU.

Marshall University Sweater Set

In case you have a favorite football team, here is the sweater set I made for the newest little one on our block.  She is now here and WILL BE A HERD FAN!  If her Mom will let me I will post her picture later when she grows into the set.

Front of Sweater

OK, so I was suppose to put this front picture beside the back, but being new to this process, it did not work.  Next best thing was to start over with a new post.
Stay with me, I will learn.

Latest Sweater Creation

Amazing how praying for a little one not yet in this world is so very rewarding to me.  I was with the Momma to be on Thursday and sure wanted to show her this beautiful treasure, but did not.  Since she is not into blogging, I wanted to show all of you. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Favorite Scarf

This is one of my favorite scarves.  The yarn is from Russia.

DreamChallenge Shop

Today a very nice lady stopped by our home to show us this fabulous rug cleaner and my beloved husband let her come into our home and clean our bedroom rug.  Do you have any idea what kind of dirt came from that rug?  Now we have a fabulous housekeeper and she does a wonderful job.  That rug looked pretty clean.  Well the dirt that came from the rug was totally awtful.  So why am I sharing this with you?  Because rugs and not important to me but clean is.  When was the last time your rugs were cleaned?  Well, needless to say, I would rather knit than ever think about rugs that LOOK clean and totally not, so here is what I decided to do.  Tell you all about the fun knitting projects I have been working on.  Here is my note to you: 
Please visit my shop it has a few listings. Christmas is not far away.

I would love to make something special for someone you love. Special orders should be started soon. Let me know what you would like and the kind of yarn to use and who you plan to give it to (example, male/female/little boy/girl etc.).


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vicki's Contest

This beautiful fall nest will be given away by my friend and mentor at blogging,
Please visit her blog to see what a wonderful creative person makes this item.
Tell her DreamChallenge sent you her way. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Every (almost) spare minute reading blogs.

Thank you Karen for this wonderful opportunity to share time and our creative spaces with people all over the world.  Since I spend most of Saturday and Sunday reading blogs, decided better take care of the garden and a few things around the house.  Put stew meat, potatoes, onions and tomatoes in the crock pot and went out to the garden. 

Wait, what is that???Right, two beautiful pea blossoms.  They have not given up with all this heat.  So, of course, I did not pick all the vines. 
ohen I saw all the beautiful kale and ask my Bob, husband,to please pick all he could, so he did.  A whole sink full of kale ready to wash, strip and steam.  Ready for the freezer.  Yes, it is finished. 
Do you ever put kale in your
brown beans?  Well I like it that way. 

My friend, Vicki, who is also sharing her awsome Yarn Room Creative Space http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.com/2010/06/sacred-yarn-room-my-creative-space.html  told me I was NEVER to cook brown beans again.  LOL  It seems that Italians just do not understand that tomato paste does not go in everything and the beans were, well shall we say, awful.  I took them out of the crock pot, put them on the stove with onion, salt and pepper and cooked them another hour.  We ate them and Bob said they were good, but we both know, next time Mrs. Vicki will be cooking our beans.

Sure hope each and every one of you are as happy as I am with finding new friends.  Please come again, Jan

Friday, June 18, 2010

Space for DreamChallenge

Since I am a very new blogger, please forgive the fact that a picture is first and not a very sincere WELCOME to each and every one of you who chose to visit my blog.  I am so grateful to Karen for sponsoring this "Share your Space Day". 

This is my evening knitting space. 
I use this space to be close to my husband because when the news comes on this is the couch where Bob sits. He loves to watch the news and I love to be near him, especially if it is a work day for me and I have been gone all day.

Sometimes we have such special gifts that just the feel will give delight and happiness. 
That is what these two sets of VERY OLD wooden hand carved needles do for me. 
 I just love the feel and smell.  And Yes, I do knit with them as I sit in my corner of the couch.  They are a very special gift from my housekeeper and friend.  Juanita is a blessing to Bob and me.

Growing up in an Italian Household allowed me to share a room for many years with an Aunt.  Then when I became a teen and was given the small room at the back of the hall of my very own, it was a joy.  Today, our home affords me space abound, but my craft space is mine alone.  This is my space for bill paying and keeping my Etsy Account up to date.  That is the Ohio River in the background.

As I sit in my space in the pantry, this is the beautiful rock garden entry that Bob built.  It is lovely and has seasonal flowers as well as a flowing red Japanese maple tree in the background. The pantry in our home was built so I could look out the window as I sewed on the same sewing machine my parents gave me when I began sewing classes in High School. Remember Home Economics classes???I totally loved my Home Ec. classes and learned so very much. Thank You Mrs. Gooch where ever you are. 

Here is my space to sew and store yarn.

 Bob, my husband, put the shelves together so I could ORGANIZE my yarn. Now those of you who have yarn realize that just putting the yarn into color combinations will never work, but we are going to give it a try. He and our youngest daughter did an excellent job trying to help me be organized.

We all need a space to store our beads.  This lovely wooden wine holder was just what I needed to add to the pantry space.  All my beads and nylon thread for securing them to the garments fit nicely into this wooden box.  Little did my brother and sister-in-law know what the box would be used for after we finished the refreshing wine.  Thank You both for this treasurer. 
Notice the antique Coke bottles.  Coke is my choice drink.

We all have little scraps and I find keeping them in this jar is an easy way to see what colors are available.

Sometimes we have favorite yarns.  Here are some of mine. 
This beautiful woven basket is just the place for my special treasurers.

Even though the space is small, it is mine.  The view is fabulous and the lighting very good.

Here I am making a credit card holder using left over fabric and lace.
This creation makes nice little gifts.

In the spring, summ and fall, I may be found out on the patio enjoying the river, boats and animals.  We have ducks that think we are their sole source of food.  Then the birds sing as though they know us.  Just beautiful.
This particular yarn took me a LONG time to find.  I was looking for just the right colors for a little blonde.  Now that I have found it, the sweater will be finished in a few weeks.

This table scape is my first attempt at a craft sale.  Our local church Our Lady of Fatima, decided to combine a rummage sale with a craft sale.  It was great fun setting up.  Normally I just knit for friends and now that Etsy craft space is in my life, this seemed like a good idea. 

My space is a treasure and I am so thankful you took the time to visit. 
Please come again and be my friend.
May Blessings and Peace fill you and your space.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mushroom Pea Soup

Wanted to share this delicious soup with my new blog friends.  The fresh peas were not in the original recipe, but they were on the counter so I threw in a handfull or so.  Fabulous addition to an already good soup.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 fresh green onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
sald and black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound wite buton mushroom caps,  may use an assortment of fresh muchrooms which I did not have, rinsed and sliced
1 tsp. basil finely chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) dices tomatoes with liquid
6 cups water
1 pk onion lipton dry soup mix
2 beef bullion cubes
hand full or two of fresh peas
1/4 to 1/2 cup of broken in bite size pieces of whole wheat spaghetti (could use any pasta shape)
Bring to a low boil, reduce heat with lid on pot and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve with hard bread.  Enjoy.

Fresh Peas

My husband's raised bed garden has produced a wonderful crop of peas this year.  I love fresh produce and enjoy new recipes using the fresh items.  Here are today's crop:
Straight from Bob's Garden to our kitchen. This is the third crop. The peas are tender and almost finished producing for this crop. I made pea salad and mushroom soup with fresh peas. Cooking is such fun.
Pea Salad:  After blanching and removing the peas from their pods, chop one fresh green onion, 1/2 cup fresh parsley and slice 1 cup of fresh mushrooms.  Sprinkle olive oil over mixture and add 2 tablespoons of low fat hellman's mayo.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss lightly so the peas and mushrooms are not mashed.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.  Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.  I added 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese for a little protein and color.  Delicious.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Go HERD Sweater

The local university is Marshall University.  Some of you will remember the movie about the airplane crash that took the lives of so many of our friends in this area.  "We Are Marshall".  All the football players, coaches and fans on the plane were killed when the plane crashed into the hill side as it approached the home airport.  I will never forget that night.  The movie was particle filmed in the Huntington West Virginia area where Marshall University is located. 

Now to the sweater just knitted.  It is for one of our neighbors who graduated from MU.  She and her family are great MU fans as is all my family.  Her baby is due in the summer and I wanted the little princess to have her first MU outfit to wear to the ballgames.  Of course, you know she will be a HERD fan.  The Buffalo is the mascot.  I love this pattern, but it needed a ruffle for little princess, so I made up this pattern and am really happy with the way it turned out.  Let me know what you think by posting a comment. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Birthday Celebration Weekend

Birthdays are such fun when your family shares in the joy of the day.  Both daughters and granddaughters joined Bob and I at the Biltmore after church on Sunday for a fabulous brunch.  I was surprised by a beautiful hand decorated (with Chocolate) dessert plate, the center of which were candy daisys.  Gerber daisys are some of my favorites and there their were in the middle of the plate.  Of course, the meal was wonderful, but the added touch of a surprise was lovely.  The little girls were such polite young ladies.  We all had a great time. 

Since I am so new to adding pictures and blogging, this little sessions has taken over an hour, so pictures of the flowers will come soon.  Thank you all for wishing me a Happy Birthday.  It was joyous.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Trip to MD Anderson Cancer Center

Oh my goodness, it has been such a long time since I have been able to post a sharing.  Our trip to MD Anderson Cancer Center turned into a blessing.  All of the testing shows that Bob's body is cancer free at this time.  Thank You God. 
The week prior to the trip was extremely emotional for me, but I did not throw up once and that was such a positive step for me.  Now waiting for the test results was another story.  "Melt down" is the term we used in our home for extreme anxiety.  Until a beloved friend told me what was happening in my mind and body, I had no idea it was normal.  So, friends, if you are having a 'melt down', it can be a range of strange things.  Mine are fairly evident - crying and throwing up.  What are yours????  Please share with me it you like. 
One of the most useful lessons I have learned over the past several years is that "Sharing is an important part of healing".  I am very cautious about who I share with, so as you know, there are people in your lives that will listen and be a healer, others are just not ready to hear or listen or help.  It is not their fault.  Just love them for who they are and move yourself on to those who God puts in your path for the sharing that will help you move to a healthy place in your mind and body.
            Bob and I sitting on the Jetty in Ft. Pierce Florida.  Me another day on same Jetty.
WOW what a difference a day or so makes in the wind speed.  Praise God for Bob's good health.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate Cake

When the one you love ask for Chocolate Cake and there is none in the house, what do you do?  Of course, make a cake.  Well, we made it from scratch using the recipe on the back of a Cocoa Can.  Even made the icing using the recipe from the same can.  Now when was the last time a scratch cake was made in our home?  No idea, but it was so delicious we will use the same recipe again.  As a caregiver, often we want to please in what ever means possible.  Cooking healthy foods is an excellant way to say "I love you" without even saying a word.  All things in moderation, thus the Chocolate Cake with wonderful creamy chocolate icing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mistake Turn Beautiful

Starting a poncho last Saturday was an exciting adventure for someone who loves to knit.  Having never made a poncho before, it was a day or so before realizing "there is something wrong".  The poncho for my friend's granddaughter had turned into something large and beautiful and NOT a poncho but a beautiful "shawlette".  Little did I know that Karen at http://karenlcase.blogspot.com/2010/02/lucky-me.html  discovered this little article of clothing before me.  She has one for herself and it is totally beautiful.  My little mistake has turned into a lovely gift for my friend's granddaughter.  Thanks Karen for giving it a name.  Mine will be a one of a kind since there is no way to figure how it became a shawlette from a poncho pattern.  Thank You 

Blessing from a Gift

Little Sofia was born weighing in at 8 lbs 6 oz with beautiful eyes and dark hair although her Dad says there is blond underneath the dark.  She is 21 inches long and has the most long fingers needed to play the piano or flute at some point in her life.  Her Mommy and Daddy honored me by allowing her to wear the creation I made for her long before we knew it was a Sofia.  I added the pink flower the morning after she was born.  She is such a peaceful child.  Praise God for this little blessing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bob exiting Grand Canyon and Doug


No one can believe all the snow we are having.  Now the first few days were great and still beautiful, but these roads need to get cleaned.  Thanks to my fabulous husband, our walk ways are clean and dry, until the next hour when snow cascades down once again.  OH well, he has a challenge. 

It seem I forgot to mention a few people in my President's Day Salute, namely my beloved husband who served in the US Army Reserves for a zillion years and my Canadian son-in-law who also served a zillion years in His Countires' Service and went to some of those countires we are still trying to help understand democracy.  Probably a lot of cousins and uncles out in our world that have been left off, but please know that our thanks is just as profound as if your name was listed right here in this new venture. 
Three pictures:  The guy coming out of the Grand Canyon is my husband.  He spent three days down at the bottom in a tent.  My prayers were with him as the relaxing sun warmed my body in Sedona during that time. 
Doug is our Daughter Amy's adoring husband.  He will be cheering for Canada during the Olympics and so will we except if they end up playing USA in hockey.  The pink lace is actually showing the snow on our covered, screned in porch where snow never come; however, now we have snow up to the sliding glass door into our home.  YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God Bless all Those who Serve to Keep us Safe and Free. 
Enjoy the moment - it is all we are promised.
Jan xoxo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friend's Contest

If you like contests and give-a-ways, my friend at http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.com/2010/02/getaway-and-new-contest-begins.html has a fun trip planned and she is going to give several items away once she returns.  If you would like to join in the fun, please visit her link and leave her a comment.  Have fun. The following picture is on her blog:
Is this the gift????
I do not think so, but I know it will be lovely and fun to own.

President's Day - Salute and Gratitude to them All

President's have served us with their best intentions. We do not have to agree with them, just give them the respect and gratitude they deserve. My Dad served in the Second World War and returned home safely. My middle brother Sam served in Korea and also returned home safely, but never had quite the same outlook on life and liberty. He was for the moment and the day. Well, come to think of it, so are some of us. Since I did not know my Dad before he left for the Aleutian Islands, he too may have been 'changed' when he returned. My cousin Sam served in VietNam and was forever changed when he returned to his home. My thankfulness is heartfelt for all of these men in my life and the many more who I do not know but respect for their service. One in particular is now serving in Afganistan. His name is Clyde and prayers are always going up for his safety. God Bless Them All.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This little dollie is one of my childhood friends. I made this pouch to put in my etsy shop, but little one is using it as a prop right now. What a happy sight to see her cuddled in the soft pouch.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One of my favorite places is on the beach. Peace, calm, beautiful waters, that's where my mind goes when I close my eyes for retreat.
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