28 May 2014

Wednesday Wound-Up

This is my Transition Shawl.  I really am loving how it is turning out. Two more sections, then lace!

This is my afghan which only needs 61 more rows and a border to be called done.
I seem to be in big project mode, alternating between these two during this last week of the month.  I'm taking a brief pause to work on something special for Pokey today, as part of the Love Dare that we're doing.  The challenge today was to buy something special to let your spouse know you were thinking of them today.  Well, I can't get to the store because it's too far to walk, so I am simply going to make him something special.  Nothing huge because I only have today to do it but it will be helpful to him and that's important too.  I'll share tomorrow what I've made.

Today, as soon as Pokey gets home from work, we're headed to the eye doctor's office to pick up Hobbit's and my new glasses.  Pokey got his last week.  I'm super excited because this will be the first time in my life that I will be seeing 20/20 and yes, I did cry in the doctor's office when she showed me the difference between my current glasses and what my new glasses will be - such a difference!!  I also got transition lenses so that I won't have to squint, though I am worried about what it will do to my photography outside.

What projects are you working on today?  Are you a big project crafter or do you prefer smaller ones?  I usually go for the smaller ones because I like instant gratification but once or twice a year I push myself to make something big because I do love the finished items.

Don't forget to sign up for the fabulous giveaway I have going on right now.  It will be open until Friday night so be sure to get your entries in - simple click and boom, you're done.

Okay, back to the crafting so I can get Pokey's gift done before he gets home tonight!

25 May 2014

Sunday Snaps

It's been a rather productive week around here...
I made myself an awesome new neon sunbonnet for when I'm lounging around outside this summer...

I designed a new bucket hat that I will be writing the pattern up for in the next week or so to share...

I made some serious headway on my shawl and I am loving how the variegated is playing off the grey...

I got a little creative on the African Flower front and made this precious summer bag...

And I'm hosting a fabulous GIVEAWAY - click here to enter!

22 May 2014

Giveaway ~ Weaving Rag Rugs

This is the most amazing weaving book!
When my good friends at Stackpole Books asked me if I would interested in reviewing other publications from them, I didn't even take a breath before I said yes.  They carry such a fabulous collection of crafting tombs that I was honored to be given the opportunity.

This time we are looking at a craft that I have no clue how to do but desperately would like to learn.  When the publisher mentioned rag rug weaving, I instantly became nostalgic for my grandma's kitchen.  She used to have these amazing rag rugs that I adored.  Full of bright colors and whimsy - this was definitely something I wanted to learn how to do.

"Weaving Rag Rugs" by Tom Knisely is a fabulous book for the complete novice, like myself, or the veteran weaver alike.  He speaks to you not in crafter's jargon that can be overwhelming for a new soul just dipping their toe into the water but in a friendly and easy to follow sort of way.  It's almost as if he's right there by your side, patiently guiding you through the ways of weaving.
Well laid out and so easy to follow instructions.

With fabulous 'how to' tutorial pictures to gorgeous finished rug glamor shots, this book is the perfect tool for anyone who would like to learn or expand on their weaving knowledge.  Charted diagrams, easy to follow instructions, and beautiful photographs make this book sing.  The front of the book gives you the building blocks to be able to tackle the 32 patterns located immediately afterwards, and they range from beginner to well advanced motifs.  Take a look at some of my favorites...

Violet Anderson is a wonderfully rustic yet elegant design.

Old Glory Variation is a classic rug with a wonderful homey feel.

Log Cabin Pattern Thick & Thin is such a fun design.

Rose Path Twill is my absolute favorite.
There are so many more that I wanted to share but I just had to cut myself off at some point so narrowing it down to these four was tough enough!  You can see all of these patterns for yourself though because the awesome folks at Stackpole Books are letting me giveaway a copy of "Weaving Rag Rugs" to one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is - a Rafflecopter giveaway - and you're all set! Good luck! All entries must be received by 11:59 pm ET on 30 May. Open to U.S. residents only this time around. I promise, my lovely international friends, that my next giveaway will open to all peoples on the planet!

19 May 2014


I couldn't stop myself yesterday but that is what happens when you have me wait 18 days to do something fun!
Surefire way to motivate me - have me pick a pattern and propose it but then make me wait 18 days to work on it.  By the time I was given the "Go!" I was pawing the ground like a racehorse in a starting gate!!

I've got a nifty system worked out in my head to spend equal time on this Mission and my OWL.  Four repeats on my Mission is equal to one row of my OWL right now so I will alternate between the two.  My Mission is small enough that I could carry it along with me places but my OWL is not so if I'm sitting and watching TV on my days off, that is my night project by default since it can't go anywhere but the daylight hours are devoted to Mission work, Quidditch, and classroom homework.

I should rock this term if I can get a good rhythm started with these two big projects.  I already got my Size Matters project submitted.  It was fabulous and totally cheering up my office, take a look -

African Flower pennants and Granny Sweet Hearts all on 6' of shell scalloped garland for my office window.
I plan on making another one for the other window too.  If I can get it done fast enough, I'll turn it in for class this month which will give me 8 complete and then I only need to do 4 for the middle month... or I could do 8 again which would leave me with 2 classes for the final month and a lot of time to focus on my Advanced Studies projects.  The combinations are endless!

Back to crafting because goodness knows, my Headmistress Challenge hat won't crochet itself!

No need to adjust your screens folks, it is that bright!  Remember that neon yarn I got for Christmas?  This is it!

18 May 2014

The wacky week that was

It has been one crazy week, let me tell you.  It started when I went on my lunch break Monday evening and my modem just totally crapped out.  That was the catalyst to send the week downhill fast.

Over three days we had three different technicians in here attempting to correct a simple issue.  To most people it wouldn't be a big deal but I honestly can't stand having strangers traipsing through my home and disrupting my routines.  One was here until just after 11 pm - he was the worst one with his constant need to go outside and smoke, then come back in and make my house smell like an ashtray.  He left doors open and drug dirt in, just a really nasty soul all the way around.  The next one wandered around stating that he had "no flipping clue" and spent the majority of the time in and out, dragging in dirt as well but at least he closed the doors, muttering on his cell or directly to me about how people are "gunning for him" and how he was going to "take the heat for this account".  The last one was a supervisor, he kept hollering it was a coding issue.  From the moment he said hello and placed his overheated laptop on my antique sweater chest that my PopPaw built (which I promptly removed and placed on the fabric ottoman to prevent a hot spot in the wood), all he would say was how we were a "comp account" because my husband works for the company they are nothing but trouble and it always boils down to being a coding issue.

I am very thankful that my husband's company gives him all the perks that they do - we enjoy every single one - but the downside is that they treat me like dirt.  Figuratively and literally.  I am still a customer and I deserve the same level of professionalism and courtesy as any other customer.  It shouldn't matter if I'm paying $25 a month for all my services or $250 - I am a customer.

So long story short, they finally got me up and working again on Thursday evening.  My husband has sworn to never allow another technician in our home again, especially the contracted ones, and I was able to go back to work on Friday and plug along.

Last night, we went to a baseball game for our local minor league team - the Tampa Bay Yankees.  When they get called to the show, they get to be a part of one of the greatest baseball franchises in the universe, the New York Yankees.  The tickets were another perk of Pokey's company but they are available to any customer as well.  We had physical tickets but all anyone had to do was show their cable bill and get in free.  They do it twice a year apparently.  The Yankees won and there was a fireworks show after the game.  It was a lot of fun.  Hobbit is now a baseball fan, complete with her own foam finger.  I think her favorite part was being singled out of the jumbo fan cam shown on the huge screen at the back of the field.  Such a silly girl, that one.  I would have take pictures but there was a posting on the field website that cameras were not allowed.  I did see a lot of other folks with their cameras so I think next time, I will bring mine too.

Tomorrow, I am going to share what happens when you power crochet.  Granted, my hands hurt a bit right now and I've had to put it down but I had been waiting so long to start on it that when I was given the "Go!", I went!!  Here's a sneak peak from earlier today...

I must admit, I am loving how it is turning out and it is taking all my will power to not just keep going despite my hands hurting.

11 May 2014

Sunday Snaps

This series started as a single photo to represent the day and then morphed into a photographic look back at my week.  I think moving forward, I'm going to go back to the single shot to represent my day but before I do that, I wanted to share my Mother's Day with y'all and it can't be done in just one shot.

I have to work tonight so my Mother's Day festivities were done yesterday as a complete surprise.  It started with piling me into the car to go to Target after Pokey got home from work yesterday.  He decided that I needed a bookcase to put a TV on in the office because he is getting the house wired for whole house DVR playback when he's home on Wednesday!  This is so I can watch what I've recorded during the week while I'm working.  It gets super quiet from about 10 pm until midnight so I can devote that time to research and I can listen to the shows that don't require my full attention - like American Idol or The Voice - while I do my work instead of having to wait until the next morning where I've been hit with spoilers.  Pokey has decided that he would like a bigger TV in the family room - and I agree - so when we upgrade, I'll get the one that is currently out there and Hobbit can have her's - which she graciously and selfless offered to me for use until we do - back.  Here is that cozy section of my slowly but surely office redecoration...
I am debating putting my crafting books or yarn in pretty bins on the last two shelves.
The top shelf was super easy - my special treasures from my family (or past work life) that I hold dear.
Then, for some really strange reason, Pokey suggested that we go to Home Depot to look and make sure we got the 'best value' for the bookshelf.  When we got there, he was immediately side tracked to the rug section.  I have been wanting a bigger rug for our living room for almost two years now.  He was getting discouraged because all the rugs that were the size we needed were over $300 and $400 but before we gave up hope, I found the perfect one.  I figured I would get the price and then adjust our savings budget to come back in a few weeks and pick it up.  He surprised me with a $100 gift card he earned from work so we were able to purchase it that afternoon and only spent $40 from our own accounts!  Doesn't it look wonderful...
Our old carpet barely fit under the ottoman, now it covers the entire area and it's gorgeous!
The final bit was a trip over to the garden center because he had an idea.  We have been looking for a shelf to put my monitor on and found nothing.  So what does my clever husband do - he takes a gorgeous cedar planter box and turns it on it side.  Seriously, that's how his brain works... and it's perfect!  My monitor is now eye level and totally awesome!
Look at all the open desk space I have now, which will come in super handy when I get my new desk!
I then got to spend the rest of the evening watching my favorite 'trash' on the television.  I watched a few episodes of The IT Crowd and then "Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason".  It was fabulous.  This morning, I woke to Hobbit giving me a fish she made in art class (it's on the bookshelf in the office), along with a cinnamon and raisin bagel with cream cheese and a fabulous cup of coffee.  It has been an awesome Mother's Day.

I hope everyone reading has a fabulous day as well - whether you're a mother yourself, have your mother to celebrate, or you're a daddy pulling double duty.  I wish you a day full of love and laughter surrounded by the ones you hold most dear.

10 May 2014

Weekend Wonderment

I have so many projects that I want to start but I refuse until I complete one, get the GO! on the other, and build myself a nice cushion for the third.  You see, I have completed five classes and all my available Quidditch so far this term just to give myself the freedom to go hog wild with my Advanced Studies.  For those who think I have lost my mind and haven't been with me very long, I'm talking about the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup over on Ravelry.  If you need something to spur along your crafting mojo and productivity, this is definitely the place to be!

So my 6th class - and final one of the month for me because you actually lose points when you opt to do all 8 because the base is gone and you're left with bonus points only - is my DADA hat that I need to complete.  My goal is by tonight, this puppy will be done.  Here is where I am right now...
I've gotten some comments about the color combination but I don't care - it's for me and I like it.
After I get that one done, I am going to put some more time in on my OWL because 217 stitches is a lot of stitches.  I have to do one row a day in order to get it finished on time.  I am trying to get a nice cushion built up because Hobbit only has 17 more school days left and I know once it ends, a lot of my crafting hours before work will be just gone.  I think I've gotten a great deal done, all things considered...
This is 23 rows completed with 217 stitches per rows...
I love that the back is neat and tidy, even with the carried yarn.
I've got another good week of dedicated blanket time before I will have to split my time between my OWL and my Mission - which is much plainer than my blanket so it will be a nice break, at least until I get to the lace edging.  Once the second round of Quidditch starts, I can make Pokey's hat with the yarn I dyed for Herbology class.  Did I share that with y'all?  No, well take a look...
Pokey claimed it before it was even dry!
So that's what on my table for this weekend - and this week.  What about y'all?  Anything fun or exciting happen lately or waiting to happen very soon?

06 May 2014

Rocking out

I have been fortunate enough to meet Keith Urban and see him play live from the front row of one of his shows. He is the sweetest soul and his talent is undeniable. He is a good thing.

I have had this song in my head since I saw it the other night so I thought I'd let y'all rock out with me today. Have a great one... and if it's not, pull a Picard and make it so!!

05 May 2014

Yarnie mail is the best mail

I love Mondays. I don't know why others get so bummed about them. They signal a fresh week full of possibilities.  They also signal that everyone goes back to work and school and I can clean my house.  Maybe I love them because they're quiet after the hustle and bustle of the weekend... or maybe I love them because my house looks fabulous for at least five hours - in a row.  I know another reason why I love them... I get to share the awesomeness that arrived in the post over the weekend!

Last term over in the HPKCHC, a fabulous Slytherin challenged us all to a stash down in Quidditch - and I won!  Do you want to see what I won?  Okay, I'll share with you...

Isn't it beautiful!  She made that for me with her own two hands... for me... seriously!!  I love it.
Yep, that awesome bit of owly goodness is all for me.  There isn't another bag in the universe like this one.  It's super huge and full of awesomeness - figuratively and literally.  Look, I'll prove it...
That yellow is the happiest yellow on the planet.  There is no way to be gloomy when you open this bag.
Isn't that an amazing shade of yellow?  The picture shows it a touch paler than it truly is but it's been raining and so I'm lacking on the natural light front.  I can tell you that it is honestly chocked full of happy, again both figuratively and literally.  Do you see what is peeking out from inside?  Care to take a closer look?  Yeah, I did too and check out what I discovered...
It just screams "Molly Weasley", doesn't it!?!  It's too fabulous, I swear.
That right there is enough yarn to make one truly awesome Patronus Cloak, which just happens to be the pattern that she gifted to me a few weeks ago!  I absolutely love every bit of it.  I knew she was making a project bag, because it was part of the prize offered but I had no clue that it was going to be so massive - same the yarn.  I thought a cute little sock sized project bag and a new skein, all of which is awesome in it's own right, but this was way beyond my wildest dreams!  I will freely admit that I cried when I opened it all.  I do that when confronted with amazingness - just turn straight into a puddle.

So there you have it, a truly magical moment brought to you by the noble house of Slytherin - owl post that contained yarnie goodness... and on Monday, it's quiet enough that I'll can start plotting my color charts so I can be ready for next month's classes and earn some serious points!!

Yep, I love Mondays... don't you?

04 May 2014

Coming up for air...

Oh my stars, that was an unplanned stretch of silence.  I'm so very sorry.  Work was crazy last week.  I normally work Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from four in the afternoon until midnight.  Well, this week had me working my normal bit but I then I had to work over my 'weekend' too because of training so I have been at work for six straight days... which doesn't sound bad but when you break down my day, it was a bit brutal.

You see, Pokey's alarm goes off every weekday at 5:30 in the morning.  Generally, I can doze in and out between then and when he leaves in the morning just after seven.  I'm basically forcing myself to stay in bed because I know my day will too long if I get up.  Once the garage door closes, I debate on getting up or staying until my alarm goes off at eight... let's just say my alarm hasn't gone off in ages.  So I'm up, showered, and starting chores before then and Hobbit rises around the same time, even though her alarm is set for 8:25 on school days.  I get her going on her day and on the bus by 9:20, which is generally an easy going time for us since she has a routine and she sticks to it fairly well.

Once she's gone on the bus, I go back to my chores.  I have a schedule on the fridge that I follow and it usually carries me until about noon, when I have some lunch and watch a bit of tv.  Then I set the kitchen timer for 3:45 and attempt to take a nap because I'm going to need one.  It rarely happens when I actually fall asleep but I try - I'm a horrible napper.  I "go" to work and hit the ground running at four in the afternoon and Hobbit is home around twenty minutes after.

That's a normal day for us - this past week has been anything but normal.  I was going in to work at two in the afternoon and ten in the morning during my days off for mandatory training, along with my normal work days.  It just wore me out.  So now that my May schedule has flipped my Saturday work and my Sunday off - of course I work on Sundays this month, it has Mother's Day on a Sunday and my luck lately has been total rubbish - we took yesterday and just enjoyed the day.

We had a relaxing morning, did grocery shopping, went out to supper, and perused the book store.  It was a wonderful way to recharge.  I even got some crafting in during the week since the HPKCHC Spring Term started on Thursday...

This and the next two were for Quidditch.  Buddy was a reluctant model...

I always wanted to try this celtic knot bracelet pattern.  I think it turned out really pretty.

Pokey needed a new toy on his desk - so I made him Nessy, the Loch Ness Monster. Isn't she sweet!

I made a trap for Care of Magical Creatures.  I had to modify a larger pattern to get the right size for charity.

I made a mug rug portkey for Charms class... it's the blue that makes it work.  Designed on the fly with my scraps.

Random hexagons that were turned in for Divination because they celebrated the number six like nobody's business.

Some bright pink hexagons for DADA, though how bioluminescent organism parlays into DADA is a bit out there.. hehe

and I just started my History of Magic hat because it's something we make repeatedly and I've made this pattern four times already.
I have been busy but thankfully, we are back to normal this week... though my 'weekend' consists of a hair appointment and Hobbit's dentist visit.  One day soon my days off will consist of actually being off.  We're down to the last four weeks of school and trust me, on June 4th there will not be an alarm clock set in this house.

I hope your week was better paced than mine and your upcoming week is easy on your soul.
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