30 November 2011

One day more...

Sorry, a bit of leftover from yesterday's musical extravaganza... oh how I pine over Colm Wilkinson - but that's another post entirely.  This one is about the GIVEAWAY that has been sitting quietly, waiting for it's turn in the sun... and today, luckily, the sun is shining!

Different styles of size H hooks, some gorgeous stitch markers and a surprise or two (no, not the ornament).

Remember how I won all those hooks and that skein of yarn?  Still waiting on the yarn to arrive (and getting rather nervous since it's been almost three weeks and my attempts at correspondence have not been answered) but y'all know I like to be prepared so please lend a hand.  I'm looking for a great pattern that calls for no more than 109 yarns of bulky weight yarn.  It could be a hat, scarf, cowl, cushion cover, bag... the sky's the limit really.  I have been searching until I'm blue in the face - both advanced knitting patterns and learning impaired crochet patterns because I work on the appropriate levels for me - and I've simply gone cross-eyed.

So please - suggest any and all patterns because searching on my own, I still haven't found what I'm looking for (break for impromptu U2 sing along...)

Alrighty - feel better?  I know I do... Bono does cure what ails ya, doesn't he.. not to mention The Edge (my personal weakness of the band).  So what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, patterns and yarn... the entries close tomorrow night so you have the rest of today and all of tomorrow to help me find the perfect pattern.  Deciding the winner is purely scientific - Pokey, Hobbit and I are going to look through all the suggestions and find the one that we can all agree on... easier said than done, trust me.

Post your suggestions here or here - all are welcome and appreciated... oh, and this one can go internationally as well so I can share some love with my strong UK readership.  I love that I have such a large percentage of readers from one of my most favorite places on earth and land of my future dream home... makes me all warm and fuzzy feeling.

Ready... Steady... GO!

29 November 2011

Ten on - Tuesday - Tunes

That's right, I get to do a "mash up" today because Carole sent out the prompt last night regarding today's "Ten on Tuesday" and it ties in so well with my normal "Tuesday Tunes" that I just couldn't resist.  Now please keep in mind that these are in no particular order and I am doing all I can to limit myself to just ten entries - I should honestly be given a prize for doing this as this is my favorite type of movie ever... are you ready?  Okay, here we go ~ Favorite Musicals...

Man, that was fun! Now I need to go and watch these... Just curious - did anyone see the 'father/son' connection I put in?  I've got a daddy and a son in these videos - it's an obscure fact that my nerdy heart would love for someone else to know... come on, did you see it?

28 November 2011

Motivational Mondays ~ 28 Nov

Have you caught on to a little theme that seems to accompany a certain project that I've been working on?  The Social/Emotional aspect of the weekly compass deals with things that stimulate your physical or mental well-being.  It could be something as simple as writing to a dear friend or sitting still to reflect on your day thus far to focus on where you'd like for it go.  This is the most diverse aspect of the weekly compass for me and some weeks, it's my favorite... like this week.

I designed an article of knitwear that I'm rather proud of and instead of simply admiring it, taking a photo of it and sending it off to it's intended recipient, I took it a step further.  Y'all know that I will write my patterns out and post them here freely for everyone to use.  I love to share my designs and even though I have been told time and time again to sell them, I just couldn't because none of them seemed to be "up to par" with the rest of the design world... until now.

When my beauty was a WiP - side note, cute ladybug bag!
This weekend I finished a design that I came up with and wrote out on Monday.  I had a good feeling about it so I sent it out for test knitting on Ravelry the same day.  We were knitting blind, as it were... but I had faith it was going to turn out perfectly.  I worked on mine off and on throughout the week, even while in line at Disney.  It was completed early Sunday morning (like 1 a.m. early) and without hesitation I photographed it, tweaked the pattern and emailed Sharon.  The same day that I came up with the design, she post about an open call to all designers.   Talk about serendipity!  My favorite dyer was requesting original, never before published designs and I just happened to have created an original, never before published design.  When I finished my handiwork, I knew it was exactly as I had envisioned.  To me, it was perfect... so I sent it in to her.

I probably won't hear back about it until the new year but I took a very important step - I sent in a design for consideration to a very popular and well known yarn dyer.  That's like saying you mailed in your demo tape to a producer or sent your manuscript to a publisher.. it's a giant leap in a direction that I have secretly dreamed about for years.  Yes, this means I can't share with you what I created but it does mean that I can share my excitement and happiness though.  Sure, it could get rejected and if it does, that's okay because I know I did my best and I am proud for even trying... plus, I'll get to share it with y'all for free!  It can also get picked up and I will be an official knitwear designer for one of my knitting world heroes... and that will make two dream jobs accomplished - a blessing in any lifetime.

27 November 2011

Sunday Snaps

Someone got a belly ache this week from sneaking food and hiding it under her bed...

Someone learned how to read a crochet pattern... sort of...

Someone started a love affair with a new old friend...

Someone made a batch of Turkey Corn Soup and froze it...

Someone decorated for Christmas...

Someone finished an original design and submitted it for consideration to her favorite Indie Dyer...
We aren't naming any names but someone around here needs an attitude adjustment, someone needs a nap and someone just needs to think about things outside their own self... could be all one someone or it could be several someones.  Those are the facts - that has been our week - and now I must decide if someone is going to use their own pocket money to purchase the family a new Christmas pickle.

Hope your holiday weekend was full of fun and frivolity.  Did anyone brave the stores and find great deals or did y'all do like I did shop in your pajamas?

26 November 2011

Weekend Wonderment ~ 11/25 - 11/27

Nothing but fun stuff on the agenda this weekend... even though I got sidetracked just a little bit.
Yesterday, I went in the garage to get the Christmas totes but noticed that it looked like a small explosive device was detonated in there.  Needless to say, I got sidetracked.  Now my garage looks fabulous - I should take a photo before it happens again - so today I will do all that I meant to do yesterday... hence the reason this post is a day late.  There is only fun things on it though...
  1. Finish my design test knit and get it set to submit to one of my favorite Indie dyers.
  2. Decorate the Christmas tree (and the rest of the house) with Hobbit.
  3. Make some zucchini bread.
  4. Work on Pokey's sweater and Peanut's mitt.
I hope to have the results from the other test knitters in this week since the pattern is a very quick knit.  I am so excited about submitting this to Sharon - she one of my yarnie heroes... but y'all knew that already, didn't you.

How is the rest of our holiday weekend shaping up?  Anything fun going on?

25 November 2011

By the way...

I even got a bit of knitting in while waiting in line...

My ladybug bag is the best bag ever... just so you know.
I know... I know... I'm such a tease!  I've gotten some good feedback from the test knitters which makes me very excited.  I have such plans for this little beauty - I can hardly stand it!  Stay tuned.

This is how we "don't celebrate Thanksgiving"

I got a lot of grief from others because we decided to not celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  The three of us sat down and decided that since Peanut wasn't home, we weren't a complete family so we weren't going to do the standard big family celebration - decorations, huge meal, etc - for just the three of us.

Now, just because we said we weren't "celebrating Thanksgiving" this year, that doesn't mean we didn't make wonderful memories for those who were here.  I don't need lectures or tales of glory from others whom claim to have spent this particular holiday without family.  If you believe that you have done so, then bully for you because that was your choice.  We chose to simply not do it.  If you wish to judge me based off of your life experience, well there is really nothing I can do about that - nor do I care to do anything about it either.  You live your life and we'll live ours.

So here are a few photos of how we didn't "celebrate" Thanksgiving this year.  I hope you enjoy... and if you did celebrate this year, I hope it was full of love and laughter from those you cherish most.  Give thanks to those whom love you, don't judge you and will always do their best by you... they are a rare gift indeed.

Chocolate cupcake made to look like "Spaghetti and Meatball".

A quick trip around the galaxy with old friends.

A bit of singing and dancing in the rain with a legend.

A moment in the presence of greatness.

We followed the yellow brick road for a bit.

Met a new friend.

Discovered some new magical places.

Gave thanks.

Monkey'd around.

Met old friends.

"Trouble" with a capital "T".

Made a little magic of our own.

Believed in the power of dreams.

Set our sights towards the future.

So remember - just because it's different from you, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Many blessings from my family to yours.  Have a day full of blessings and thanks.

22 November 2011

Tuesday Tunes

I was just in the mood to share something brand new. Katy Perry always gets me up and moving and this one is a very somber song. Just a cool direction and the filming is very impressive. Enjoy.

21 November 2011

Motivational Monday, 21 November

I gave myself a challenge...

Nothing too hard but then again, nothing too easy either...

To build on something I already had a working knowledge of...

To learn a new technique and build on my foundation...

And the end result was pretty pleasing to all involved.
The "mental" aspect of the weekly compass deals with doing something to improve your mind.  It doesn't matter what it is - working puzzle games, reading for pleasure or expanding your knowledge on any given subject.  If it makes you work that muscle between your ears, it counts.

Earlier this month I challenged myself to work better granny squares and to learn how to read a simple granny square pattern.  I managed to improve my tension when it comes to crochet and decode a little more of the foreign language known as 'crochet patterns'.  This week, I took that knowledge a step further - I worked a complete pattern in crochet from start to finish.  Yes, it was dealing with granny squares but those squares had to be joined together via a single crochet stitch edging around each square and then single crochet stitch seaming - and they had to be done in a specific order or else the item would not produce the intended result.

Sure, seaming took me most of Sunday but you know what - I am so proud of these silly little slippers.  I took a technique that I had no "formal" knowledge of sans sitting at my mother's feet during Peanut's graduation week and mirroring her work to make a square and then mass producing simple squares for that entire week to work out the kinks while she was there to guide me and put me back on track.  No pattern.  No written instruction.  No technical jargon.  Just a girl, her mama and some hooks and yarn... the old fashioned way of learning a craft.  I took that foundation and built on it - learning what "sc1" means and "ch4".  I learned how to do the seaming just as the directions stated.  Are these slippers perfect - shoot no.  Am I proud - you better believe it.

When the weekly compass asks for something "mental" to work on - it doesn't judge you on what you write down so be honest and set realistic goals.  What may look like a baby step to some, could a milestone for someone else.  I think I'll enter this in this month's Celebrate Color contest.  I don't think it will win but I am so tickled, I can't help myself.

20 November 2011

Sunday Snaps

Hobbit broke my coffee mug.

We went to watch the sunset yesterday.

One was playing in the snow, one was playing in the sand - my word, how my life has changed.

One more round and then 6 pairs will become 2...
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions around here.  Miss Pissy Britches (that's Hobbit, with attitude) broke my favorite coffee mug - it was the first thing that Pokey and bought after we got married.  That mug depicts the place where we stayed on our wedding night and for the first two days of our marriage... every morning and every night, we would sit cuddled up on that top porch (our private porch off our room) and drink our coffee.  Needless to say, I was in tears and am completely gutted over it.  I know it was an accident but that doesn't change the fact that it's shattered.  On a bright note, my dear friend Marcy called The Alexander Homestead and spoke to Miss Bonnie, the Innkeeper.  She learned that I could get a new one shipped to me for $20.  I love that she took the time to be a little detective, in hopes that the news would ease the pain... I'll be ordering one the first week in December, hopefully.

I've been missing Peanut something awful and yesterday, it snowed.  She called me as she wandered around with her friend, Tiffany, taking photographs.  The same day, Hobbit and I went to the local beach and took photos of the sunset.  It was nice to hear Peanut giggling with all the fun she was having - and then I took this particular shot of Hobbit, and was very sad...

So little - and alone.
I guess because I am so used to seeing two little figures - sure this particular figure is a ham and wants me to take photos of her but the other would humor me.  Whether she knew I was having an off kind of time lately or not, my Peanut posted this photo that her friend Tiffany took up on her Facebook wall...

(c) Tiffany
The power of a simple snapshot.  To hear Peanut giggling on the phone while she made snow angels all around campus was one thing but to have such a beautiful image of her out in the snow just makes it all complete.  I'm so thankful that she has such a dear friend... and a dear friend with aspirations of being a professional photographer upon graduation is just what this mommy needed.

As you can see, it's cold up at Peanut's place so don't forget to send in those pattern submissions for the contest.  My yarn should be arriving this week, at least I would guess it would, and the deadline for entries is  1 December.  Still plenty of time to scour the universe for the perfect pattern - and as you can see, I am going to have to knit fast to keep her warm!

19 November 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

All I did was offload her photo and put a copyright on it - on mine, just a simple focal b&w

18 November 2011

Weekend Wonderment ~ 11/18 - 11/20

This is what a lazy weekend looks like.. at least to me.
  1. I decided to challenge myself and figure out a simple crochet pattern.  Since I know how to do a Granny Square, I thought this particular pattern would be a good start so I could see in print what I already know how to do.  I need 12 squares in all and so far, I've got 4 that I like.
  2. I am going to start mapping out a new project for January and it's so hard to do when you've got great new magazines like these two.  I want to make every single thing out of the Austen book.. literally, everything!  Plus, I want to get some baking done this weekend and my sweet Pokey surprised me the other night with Miss Paula's Christmas edition.  I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.
  3. I've got two important WiPs that need to be "whipped" up and done.  I hope to have Button Up Buttercup completed tomorrow and this particular Hallow Pullover sleeve done by Monday.  That's my goal anyway... reality might be different.  I hope not but just being realistic.
  4. Still chugging away at squares for Pine Ridge charity blankets and I'm trying to get the whole "crochet circle" thing figured out.  Squares are so easy to do in the car pick up line.  I can do one a day, sometimes I can even start a second so by the end of the week I've got a nice stack to mail out.
That's my weekend in a nutshell.  Next week, Hobbit only goes to school for two days and then we're going to spend some time over at Disney Hollywood Studios during her Thanksgiving break.  I know initially we decided that we weren't celebrating the holiday since Peanut couldn't be with us... and even though I knew this, I bought a "just in case" turkey when it was on sale and tucked it away in the big freezer in the garage.  Looks like we'll be making it on Thursday but only as a regular supper - no full fledged operation.  Parade, turkey, "A Miracle on 34th Street"... that's it.

So what are your plans for this "pre-holiday" weekend - anything exciting?

15 November 2011

Keep 'em coming!

Wow, one day and already the choices are really great!  Look at what some of y'all have found for my super chunky funky yarn that will be arriving soon...

© gray0531 ~ Non-Felted Slippers
©paulinaknits ~ Speedy Cabled Beret
©ysolda ~ Urchin
©Tori Gurbisz ~ Ovate
© Christopher Auyeung ~ Oversized Ego Scarf
These are all amazing - I have no idea how I'm going to choose but this is the kind of "challenge" that I love to have so please, keep 'em coming.  Don't forget to leave your contact information (information or Ravelry ID) so I can get in touch with you.  Hooks, markers and surprise goodies are up for grabs until midnight, 1 December.  I will announce the winner on 3 December.

Y'all are doing an amazing job finding cool patterns - for those who aren't sure what's going on, check out the original contest post here.

Tuesday Tunes

Sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures... and this week, some desperate measures have been executed - all for the sake of one little Hobbit's Christmas wish to Santa.

On the strange off handed chance that Ellen would ever stumble on my little space in the blogiverse - we love you and hope that you are able to make our one wish come true.

14 November 2011

Motivational Mondays, 14 November

Blogs fall under "Social/Emotional" for the weekly compass - at least, that's how I see it.  It involves relationships with others which is the exact definition of the spot.  So I think that sharing all my good fortune from giveaways that I've recently won would be a great way to kick off our week - because some of these wins may very well be paid forward to all of you in the near future.

Looky, looky... prizes!
The first item to come live with me was a bag full of crochet hooks, won from Things Crafty who was testing a variety of different hook manufacturers.  I now have an overabundance of size H hooks - from the quirky to the works of art... even a set that glows in the dark!

Look at them all - aren't they neat!
My next win was from The Cloistered Lamb and they sent me some beautiful stitch markers.  I love the deep, rich look of the beading and am almost too scared to use something so pretty as simply a stitch marker.  Aren't they gorgeous!

Finally, I just found out yesterday that I won NobleKnits "6 Ways to Win" giveaway for my blog post of sharing their giveaway.  My prize is some beautiful Plymouth Haciendo yarn - 109 yards to be exact, which is one skein.

(Source) Imagine it in a fabulous autumnal rust color - because that's what I chose.
Now comes the hard part - what to make with the 109 yards of yummy goodness. I know I could make the ”Rustic Scarf Pattern” that they suggest except, I’m not a big fan of it… so do you have suggestions?

Someone else loves this handmade one too.. it's just gorgeous.
 See why I love giveaways so much - they create such positive energy and excitement.  I have been rather lucky with them and I like to pass that good fortune on to others... so what say we do that right now?  I'm going to giveaway a few of those crochet hooks (how many size H hooks can a girl use, right) AND those beautiful stitch markers.  I'm sure there will be other goodies in the bag as well but here's what you have to do to enter - help me find a free pattern for the yarn I won!  It's not your typical yarn so nothing I found will seem to work.  I can even offer this one up internationally!  Just leave a comment with the pattern link (and contact information).. that's it.

Hobbit selected these as prizes... she has good taste.
Happy hunting - giveaway closes December 1st - winner announced December 3rd. I wish all y'all good luck and I can't wait to see what you find!
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