30 June 2012

Tidying up and getting set

Neat and tidy is the key to my crafting sanity
At first, I wondered what I was going to do with the gap days between rounds of Nerd Wars now that we have switched to a standardized 28 days... then I blinked and my gap days were gone!

Tonight at midnight starts a brand new round.  I can't believe it is happening already but I'm set.  At least the Magic Points this round are something fabulous - 5 points, with a cap of 20 total possible points, for organizing and fully utilizing all aspects of your Ravelry account.  Straightening up your queue, filling out your project pages, fleshing out your stash and explaining your favorites with a quick tagging system are the core ones.  A bonus version to switch out deals with getting your library in order as well.

I must say, it was the easiest points I've ever earned because I keep my Ravelry space neat as a pin.  A place for everything and everything in it's place.  I'm all set for Round 2 of Nerd Wars and the final month of HPKCHC's Spring Term... plus the start of the Ravellenic Games happens at the end of the month as well.  It's going to be amazingly busy this July - and that is just how I like it when it comes to my favorite hobbies.

Is your Ravelry being used to it's fullest? How do you keep it organized?

29 June 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 6/29 - 7/1

Time to work on my Order of the Phoenix project and my Dissertation project.
These two things have been idle because life got in the way.  This weekend, I'm taking my life back!  I require quiet and I require creative time... two things that I have been missing for about two weeks - and I'm getting cranky about it.

It all stops and starts today!

28 June 2012

One more week!

The Handy Dandy Drink Holder
I'm not one for wishing my life away but I do admit to being a planner - I will plan everything because "winging it" or "playing it by ear" irks me to no end.  I don't want to be in a constant state of standby - make a plan and stick to it.

I had made a plan to create, test and distribute a new pattern.  I wanted to share my first ever original design in crochet. I worked it, wrote it up and sent it out to be tested. There were a few unexpected challenges faced - including copyright infringement and theft by testers - but all is well now. Unfortunately, I lost a friend in the process but, as I have been reminded, if they were truly a friend then it would never have happened in the first place.

The Handy Dandy Drink Holder pattern is ready to be released - and I can't wait to share it with all of you.  It is a free pattern because I wanted to give all of you an early anniversary present... since you are each a gift to a me. I do have something planned for my second blogiversary, just one week from today, but today - I give you my newest creation.  Enjoy!

download now

27 June 2012

Working again... sort of

Hobbit with her clan...
Why is it always so hard to get back into the swing of things after vacation?  We came back on Sunday but with the silly tropical storm that flooded our town, we've been stuck in the house ever since.  We weren't worried, nor were we prepared since we weren't home, but we did get a little stir-crazy yesterday.

Today, the sun is shining and the birds are singing... and we're going to go out!  The first thing we're going to do have a turkey dinner - yeah, that's right.  We thawed out a turkey yesterday and now Pokey is currently getting it set to go in the oven.  When it only cost me $8.50 to get a 15 pound turkey and it's $7 for a 4 pound roaster chicken, I'm grabbing the turkey! 

After supper though, we're going to take our full bellies to the theatre and watch Disney Pixar's Brave.  Hobbit has been asking since the previews began earlier this year.  While we were at Walt Disney World, she got Brave toys and has been reenacting the trailers - we just have to take her and it's Pokey's weekend so we're all home to do it.

Slowly but surely things are starting to work back in their normal routines... It just takes a while sometimes.

26 June 2012

Tuesday Tunes

I have always wanted to live in the 100 Acre Woods... I guess I do now!

24 June 2012

Sunday Snaps, Part II

We spent the first day hanging out a Disney's Animal Kingdom park...

Checking out the birds...

Going on safari too... then we melted and went to our resort.

The next morning, we went to Epcot... said hi to our friends, rode a few rides and had lunch.
We took a nap too because we were allowed to stay at the Magic Kingdom until 2 a.m.!

And that is exactly what we did!!
My sweet family let me capture the full round of Cinderella's Castle Kiss Goodnight...

Which resulted in one tired Hobbit!

Sunday Snaps

I made this...

because of this...

so she needed this...

and I'm coming home from staring at this...
I know, the photos aren't that fabulous for this particular edition of Sunday Snaps but that is because the rest of my photos from this week are on my computer, waiting to be worked.  We've been away on vacation for the past few days - soaking up all the pixie-dust and wonder we could.  I'll share them tomorrow, I promise... but for now, I'm going to unpack, start some laundry and just relax in my chair for a bit.

How has your week been?

23 June 2012


I love how this words means so many different things to so many different people.  Even in our family, it takes on several meanings.  To one member, it is defined as an almost sloth like meaning... very little movement or energy is used in the process. To another, it means multi-tasking but nothing is actually strenuous. To another, it has no definition because we're not really sure this one knows how yet.

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing but to see so many people running around with their heads cut off, tempers flaring, children melting down - all for the sake of 'relaxation and fun' is amazing.

Slow down people - nothing is going anywhere.  Deep breath... now try again.

22 June 2012

Weekend Wonderment

1. Nightwatch - 2. Puff n' Slide - 3. Io
All of these projects are tooling around me because I have deadlines... deadlines, I say!  So they never leave my side lately.  I don't want to miss finishing these.

What are you working on?

21 June 2012

Early bird...

The Mrs. on 365 Project
gets a quiet morning cup of coffee.
Nothing beats that... I don't care who you are - a few moments all to yourself before the world starts making it's racket is the best thing. This is my favorite part of the day... what's yours?

20 June 2012

Happily Ever After

This is the day that we started ours - Pokey and I... and here's to many more!

Happy Anniversary, Pokey.  I love you more than my coffee - and I always will.

19 June 2012

18 June 2012

A simple rule

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

That's it. Doesn't sound too terribly difficult, does it? I didn't think so either, but apparently we are both wrong. It is much easier to jump to ludicrous conclusions, point fingers of blame and be wounded then to simply seek out further clarification and understanding. One leaves a person with knowledge, the other with hurt feelings.

If something is said or written and you are unsure if it is meant about you personally - take a moment and think... does this person's life revolve around you? Could it be possible that there are greater trials and tribulations in this person's life than you? If the answer is no, well than let us first offer our heartfelt congratulations on being the center of the universe.  We'll have to call our mothers and inform them that they were correct back when we were children, that we honestly weren't the center but it was in fact you. They will be so thrilled. Secondly, we must add... seriously?

Once you have indeed learned that nothing had anything to do with you, please accept it. It takes too much energy to tell tall tales... but twisting things to fit what you want them to be instead of the reality of what they truly are is a rare talent. Thank you for taking us on the giant leap in irrational thinking so we can see where you are coming from - it must be beautiful in your world, being the center of the  universe and all as we've just discovered, but to have such a creative imagination to live in such a fantasy world is truly a gift. Taking every word that was said and making it all about you, amazing. The intellectual acrobatics to go from point A to point Z is truly astounding. Be sure to take some Dramamine because the road is rather windy, taking sharp twists and turns in the most unusual and irrational directions.

The best part, once you've been shown the error of your thinking, is the ability to not own a single bit of it - as we all have seen, it's much easier (and more fun apparently) to play the one who has been terribly wronged. It's almost as if you prefer to live in chaos - as soon as one area is calm and life is running smoothly, you create strife in another so that you can function. It is a noticeable pattern and it should be evaluated but we don't have the proper degrees to deal with that level of.. to work with... well, let's just call it a specialized field of study. By not playing along in your fantasy world, we've ruined your plan and it leaves you flying about like a moth attacking a light bulb - rather frustrating and ultimately will end with nothing more than being exhausted and having a headache.

So you see, if you always seek first to understand, then to be understood, you will live a serine life.  The next time you feel as though something is up and not quite right with what someone else has said - be the adult and simply ask... you shouldn't be surprised when you learn that it has nothing to do with you.  Perhaps you might even grow a little and offer a shoulder of support... but let's start with this - we wouldn't want you to pull a muscle.

17 June 2012

Sunday Snaps

I wrote out the pattern and it's currently being tested...

Lots of pretty, rain-free days this week - but too hot to be out long...

Making some progress on my Nightwatch shawl.  The pattern really shows off my yarn...

I wonder if I can find a place like this in our budget that is close to Pokey's work...
Lots of surprises this week - some good, some not but most are easily handled.  Not a lot of crafting going on by me - been too busy to stitch more than one repeat at a time on my shawl or too tired to pick it up.  Lots left to do before we get our little mini-break and I want to make sure that everything is completed so that I can return without a mountain of ick waiting for me.

It's amazing what you can do if you simply shut up and do it.

16 June 2012

The written word

Most of the time, I love the written word.  It is beautiful, articulate and creative. It expresses with such detail and precision that it can't be ignored. Yes, the written word, by itself, is a fabulous and amazing tool. The reader, on the hand, is where the epic breakdown occurs.

Personal filters, experience and imposed inflection can really muck up a rather simple sentence. Instead of actually reading the words for face value, things get pressed upon these innocent creatures that were never meant to be there. Twisting tones and intent to the point of it being unrecognizable to the author and the reader getting their proverbial nose out of joint due to self-inflicted insult. Reading nastiness or hearing ugliness where there was none - seeing what they want to see instead of what was is truly there... 30 words strung together to convey a simple thought.

Perhaps it isn't my love of the written word that has faltered, but the personal filter of others that has to take ownership this time around. Instead of "reading things into it", try just reading it - a simple act that can make a world of difference.

15 June 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 6/15 - 6/17

I only have a handful of days to get this list done - so that's my true weekend...

Even though my projects keep leaving me subtle messages around the house...

When I said I'd take them along if they behaved, things seemed to calm down a bit.

14 June 2012


My folks - Christmas 2009
43 years ago today, a nervous but excited 22-year-old girl walked down the aisle to marry a calm and very sweet 21-year-old boy.  Little did they know what the years would hold - both in happiness and heartache - but through it all they have never faltered, never stopped loving one another.  Through laughter and tears, sickness and health, folly and strife - these two people have been the embodiment of true love.

Happy Anniversary Mama and Daddy - I love you both so much.

12 June 2012

Tuesday Tunes

I know, I'm running late... busy, busy day... which naturally calls for The Byrds.

11 June 2012

A moment, if I may...

I think I may be the only knitter in the universe who does not much care for yarn bombing... it could be the whole illegal aspect of it.

Yep, you read that correctly - it is illegal to yarn bomb.  It is no different than graffiti or any other type of street art because it is still being placed on public property without consent... not to mention the dangers that the yarn may place on the wildlife. Yes, I said dangers. No one ever stops to think that the animals will eat or chew on the yarn. Knitted yarn can unravel in the stomach and intestines causing the intestine to rip if the yarn gets stretched at all, killing the poor animal.

Think before you decide to "beautify" an area by yarn bombing... why not just make a nice pair of socks instead.  You can 'yarn bomb' your feet - keeping animals safe and it's totally legal to boot!

I do believe that all art is beautiful - even the ones that I don't understand- but I also believe that criminal acts are illegal - even the beautiful ones.

It's too hot

Little bits of magic and tons of surprises.
When you wake up feeling as though you have walked a million miles in the desert, it's too hot.  One should wake up feeling refreshed, not icky.  Summer, though not officially until the 20th, feels worse this year because we honestly did not have a winter.  I am hoping that this year, our winter starts around Halloween and lasts until Valentines Day... you know, like normal places in the world.

I can't believe that in a handful of days, we will be totally immersed inside the magic of Disney for a delightful mini-break. I can't believe it because 1) it's flippin' hot and 2) we haven't stayed overnight for any length of time in 4 years.  Sure, we go for a day at least once a month or so but this time, we get to stay!  Trust me, we will be one of the crazy families who is at the Magic Kingdom until 2 a.m. - it's what we do.

We all know that I don't do much without making a list or planning it out and vacation is no different really.  I broke down the days we would be there and worked out the extra magic hours to create a rough itinerary... optimizing the days.  We'll get up "early" and go to a park and then, by lunchtime, we will return to our resort and swim in the pool all afternoon until about supper, then return to the park until close... possibly ending the day back in the pool. A lot of people who are there on vacation don't understand that breaks like these are necessary to survive the brutal Florida heat.  The parks aren't going anywhere... it isn't a sprint people, it's a marathon and you need to pace yourself.  Shoot, on one of the days, I even scheduled us all a nap - because how else will you survive until 2 a.m.?

Inspired by our upcoming vacation, I made Hobbit a little present. For those of you who have already asked on Ravelry, yes I do plan on releasing the pattern - I am in the process of gathering testers to validate my first ever crochet design. To say I am pleased with it would be an understatement... even more so when applied to Hobbit.  At least now I know she won't melt because she'll be able to have her water with her at all times.

Nothing beats the Florida heat more than super cute accessories to hold your water!

10 June 2012

Sunday Snaps

I think I got a pretty good handle on cross posting projects - this was Herbology and Intellectual...

She's been named "Susie" and you can guess who claimed her...

Quidditch homework, but now I worry about my Dissertation - robbing Peter to pay Paul and all..

First slipper for Dissertation is complete... it needs a mate and then a Slytherin set.
Pretty crafty week I guess.  It's been hard, finding our groove this summer.  Poor Hobbit has spent more time in time out than she has actually being out. I think I'll blame the fact that it has been raining almost nonstop since Wednesday.

Here's to a better week ahead!

09 June 2012

Did I ever tell you...

That there is this rocker upstairs, holding a quilt that my mama made.

Next to it, this bookshelf stands in waiting for my knitting library.

Just past that is this closet, waiting to house all of my different stashes.

Patterns, baskets, bobbins and buttons.

Yards, scraps and fat quarters abound.

My sewing machine waits to be set up and attended to - patient thing.

Complete with a lamp from the room I still cry in when I enter.
I haven't been upstairs in a year.  Sounds crazy, I know.. but I couldn't do it without crying.  Even now, thinking about how it has been a year since I have seen or held my first born little girl... I get choked up.  I miss her.  It's that simple.. and when you miss someone with all your heart, it's hard to soldier on.  You do, but you feel as though part of you is missing... mainly because, it is.

My husband did something for me that I will always love him for - he has helped me move forward.  It wasn't monumental or earth shattering.  It wasn't grandiose or lavishly expensive.  All he did was make a simple dream of mine a reality - to remind me to breathe, find my footing and redesign my world.  Peanut was raised to be an independent soul, capable of great things, so we should rejoice that she is doing just that.  It's okay to be sad and to miss her, but it is also okay to pick yourself up and move on.. and that is what I am now trying to do... now.

Peanut and I have a special history - in a way, we grew up together.  I think her being away has been harder on me than her... for her it's exciting and new and I don't begrudge her one bit. I've been there before, I understand and I love to read about all her adventures and see all her photos.  I even know that one day, she will want nothing more than to come home for a visit - part of me just wishes that that particular day would hurry up and arrive.  So to help me wait it out, Pokey and Hobbit made another dream of mine come true.  They set up my very own craft room.

It's upstairs, in Hobbit's old room.  My sewing machine, rocker and material stash is all up there.  I even have a bookcase to house my crafting library and a cute hanging organizer so I can 'display' my yarn.  There is an old princess poster of Hobbit's and an old lamp of Peanut's... gentle reminders of my girls.  By setting up my craft room, it forces me to go upstairs and by going upstairs, it forces me to soldier on.  Even this week, we started eating supper at the table again... slowly bring back a bit of normalcy to our lives.

I will always be grateful for my family - because they always seem to know exactly what I need... even when I don't.

08 June 2012

Weekend Wonderment

Three days in the weekend, three projects... works out well, doesn't it.
  1. Friday - working on "Puff n' Slide"
  2. Saturday - working on "Io"
  3. Sunday - finally casting on for "Nightwatch"
That's my weekend in a nutshell... what about you?

07 June 2012

Taking stock in UFOs

Three large projects with looming deadlines for a girl who doesn't usually have UFOs is rather unnerving.  I need to create a timeline, schedule or something of the sort to help me focus and figure out the optimum use of my time... because right now, I'm at a loss!

Promise to Try 2012: Mid-year update

Y'all remember how back in late December, I posted what all that I would promise to try this year?  Well, I figured since we were at the halfway mark for the year, I'd check to see how I was progressing.  That and Pokey made caffeinated coffee tonight so I'm up while he's asleep and I was looking for something to do besides plot my revenge... this was way nicer.  So here is the abridged list (detailed list is found here):
  1. Every quarter, do one knitting or crochet technique that 'scares' me.
  2. Move more.
  3. Patience.
  4. Get organized.
As you can see, I kept it short and sweet. I prefer to set myself up for success, not failure - which is why I only promise to try, instead of make resolutions. Now that we have the list, let's see how well I did...
  1. Since it is June, that would mean that we are in the second quarter so I should have tried at least one new technique, possibly two.  Well, looking at my Ravelry project page, I think I'm doing alright on this one. I've learned Tunisian crochet and attempted my first circle centered crochet square, plus I have even progressed into hexagons.  As far as knitting goes, I've done some simple colorwork but nothing earth shattering... still, I am trying and it counts.
  2. I have a schedule where I ride my bike every other day for at least thirty minutes a day.  This averages, right now, to be about 5 miles.  Add to that our monthly trip the theme parks and I'm wracking up some serious mileage.
  3. This one has been really hard for me. I am learning though... even if it is to speak softly and give myself a time out so I don't engage my inherited red-headed temper. Still very much a work in progress but the operative word is working.
  4. It took buying new cars but we cleaned out the garage so we could park in there.  Hobbit's old room from upstairs is slowly being transformed into my craft room.  I hope to have photos for you later this week or next but I will say, it's coming along nicely. I have even set up a cleaning schedule and we've done pretty good with it so I'd say I'm doing pretty good.
Not too shabby at the halfway mark.  It helps to stop and take stock in what has been accomplished so you can see where you need to make adjustments to move forward in a better direction.

How are y'all doing on your 2012 Promises to Try?

06 June 2012

Random post of the day

My Club 33 funtimes swap package arrived today - it was wonderful... something for everyone...

Wait 'til you see what this is going to be!

I made a tiny little turtle last night - she is named Susie and now belongs to Pokey...

I made a project bag out of the yarn I dyed with Kool-Aid
It may have been a scattered and rather random start to the summer but it has been eventful at least... right?
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