About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Old paintings

Mom likes to give me all the art she doesn't have room for, but can't just throw away. In this instance, I was actually happy to get these from her. My bedroom has a beachy/fishing type theme, and these would fit in great.  The only issue is that there was severe water damage on both frames, and one frame had a grody stain of unknown creation.

So. Let's replace the frame!

I had been putting it off for a while because I did not want to destroy the painting, and to tell you the truth, I had no idea what I was doing.  I am not sure if this is common practice, but it had nails going from the frame into the actual painting.  And the nails were very difficult to remove. Thankfully I did not damage the canvas more then the nails had already done.
Once I got started it was quite easy. And now I have two paintings, both older than me, with no frames.  Next time I have a few free minutes, I will head out and grab a couple frames.

Easy short project, but now I can move on to possibly finishing my current music quilt.....Or I can keep putting that off...

Last but not least- I have to show up my favorite drawing from the midterms I gave my high school students.  Why? Because I said so.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

I've committed to participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It's a big commitment, one that will require me to spend the next several months training and fundraising. But breast cancer is a big disease, one that still affects far too many people, and I'm determined to do everything I can to help put an end to it.
I am walking in support of my boyfriends mother, who was a breast cancer survivor for around 13 years before we found out (Last January) that it had metastasized to stage 4 Bone Cancer.  I have seen the pain, suffering, and sadness that comes with having a family member suffer from breast cancer, and I want to know that I am making a difference in the world by walking this event. 
The money I raise will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help provide access to care for those who most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures. I'll be just one of thousands of people who will walk up to 39.3 miles over two days, raising awareness promoting education. 
I can't do it without your help. Though I'm required to raise at least $1,800 to walk in the event, I plan to raise much more! I hope that I can count on your support.
You can make a donation right here on the website by clicking the "Donate Now" button on this page. If you prefer to write a check, please contact me, and I'll send you the information and form.
As I prepare for this exciting event, I plan to update this page frequently so that all my supporters like you can follow my progress, so please visit often. While you're here, you might want to spend some time on the site to find out more information on why this event is so important, and the organizations and people that will be helped by the money we all raise. 
Thank you in advance.
Much love- Vanessa Ruesch

Sunday, July 07, 2013


I will start with this- I love my garden. I LOVE MY GARDEN. The thought that everyday I can go out to an area that was just dirt and clay in February, that is now filled with plants, flowers, veggies, fruits, all the yummy things!

What just places me in total awe, is that I started almost 100% of my garden from seeds.  The only "pesticide" I have used is red pepper flakes to keep away the squirrels, and marigolds for the rabbits.  Bugs have not been a problem so far.

Let's do a quick walkthrough before I write about what I wanted to write about!
My 1st round of green bean bushes.  I have planted more seeds in between these plants to create a 3rd round of beans. (the second round just started fruiting!)

My asparagus which I sadly did not get to eat this year.  They needed to go to seed for the first year so that I could get a good harvest in the next however many years.

My cucumber plants- I harvested my first cucumber today!  I will be eating it for lunch tomorrow.

8 tomato plants, of different varieties.  Two of each Roma, grape, cherry, and big boy. I harvested my first grape and roma today and yesterday! Yum!

5 of my 8 pepper plants- hot banana, jalepeno, yellow bell pepper, and green bell.

My green onions that I recently cut back because the stalks got too tough, and my white onions growing on the left.

My yummy kale plants- purple ornamental in the front.  Works great in the juicer!


Carrots- which I will not do again next year.  I planted them the same time as the beets, and they are taking forever! I like more turnaround in my garden.

My 1st round of sugar snap peas, sadly coming to a close in producing... But I will pull them out and compost them when they are done, and plant more!

My second round of green beans- I picked today, blanched the result, and put them in the freezer in meal sized portions. Yum!

My blueberry bushes- 3 different types.  They are fruiting, but not turning blue.... I am hopeful they will turn soon!

My cute little flower corner to try and bring the bees and pollinators in.

White (aka green) raspberry bushes- For the longest time I was waiting for these to get darker thinking they were going to turn red or black.  Turns out they have been ripe for a while and are actually supposed to stay white!  They are extremely sweet and I am looking into making a sorbet with the fruit.

A full picture of part of the garden, with the wonderful grapevine in the back! Grape jam/jelly and juice coming soon!

My little garden shed!

Sangria peppers- turn from purple to red! Edible, but not very spicy.

Now- for the main reason I wanted to post.  I visited the farmers market this past Saturday, and picked up two different types of beets, red and gold.  I also picked up some raspberry parmesean cheese, and goat cheese, along with some turnips.  (I bought the turnips as my monthly "new" food- we shall see what I make with them!)

I came home today and picked three beets from my garden.  Washed them up,
Then washed the rest of the beets, and kept all the greens to wash, I am planning to juice them the next couple days.

I cut the roots and leaves off the beets, and boiled them for around 30 minutes.  Look at how the water turned colors! Very pretty (hmmmm... new yarn dye color?)

After boiling the beets, the peels came right off, but they were very warm, so I dropped them in some ice water.

After peeling, the real colors came out.  These pictures don't even do the veggies justice! They were so bright!

The really dark ones came out of my garden.

I sprinkled some salt to bring out the sweetness, and took some of both cheeses and crumbled it over the salad.  Look at how pretty those beets look!

Very filling. As in, I ate a quarter of what I plated up before I was full!  That's eating healthy!

If you look at this picture and go "ewwww" you need to try this.  Very healthy. Very nummy. And very expensive in restaurants! :)

Monday, June 03, 2013

I do still craft!!!

I know, I know... it almost seems like I do not craft anymore.  WRONG!

I have been, every day! But I just never get around to taking pictures.  So here are a few things that I have made, and put up for sale in my shop!

Epic Neon Green Shawl

Cute little mushroom stitch markers!

Mushroom earrings!

Heart earrings!

These remind me of Cherry Blossoms

 Evil eye earrings

All for sale in my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/luganchica102