31 December 2015

2016 Promises to Try

I don't think I made of list of promises last year, which is interesting but odd. I have been wanting to sit down and do this for a couple of weeks but things have been insane around here. Ever since Thanksgiving it has been one thing after another. Thankfully, it seems to finally be winding down.

So, my promises. Remember, these are not earthshattering things but more or less things that I want to do to better myself. They can be health oriented, hobby oriented, spiritually oriented - whatever I want to improve upon this year. Here goes...
  1. Lose weight. Yep, I went there straight off the bat. I want to lose 50 pounds. It's not a lot but I think it is a realistic goal - and honestly, any loss would be celebrated by me. I still need to talk to my doctor about how to do this but it's on the radar and I've got 52 weeks in which to do it. Having Diabetes has made this a challenge but I'm not giving up yet.
  2. Read at least 4 new books this year. I will be the first to admit that I put pleasure reading by the wayside first when it comes to things that need to be dropped in order to make time. I don't like that about me because I do love reading so I'm going to make time to do this for myself.
  3. Sew clothing for myself. Oh yeah, I really want to do this one. I love to wear skirts and dresses but for some reason, in order to purchase a skirt or dress for myself I need to take out a small loan. Cute dress for Hobbit or Peanut runs me about $25 but the exact same dress for me is $65 or more. Not sure why but whatever... so to combat this, I'm going to learn to make my own.
  4. Knit an adult sweater. It's been taunting me. I want to do it. I'm scared to do it. I will do it - well - I will try to do it.
  5. Knit a colorwork hat. I want to knit a colorwork hat. I have wanted to do this for a bit now but again, I'm scared to do it... and again, I will try.
  6. Sew a purse. Not a tote or project bag but an actual purse. This will become a reality. I love purses and to make my own would be awesome.
  7. Improve our credit rating. Pokey and I want to buy a house and we have a few hiccups on our report. Nothing major but we are just shy of where life would be easy for us. We've been working on this for a few years now and I want to make this the year that it's all straighted out and we can buy a home.
There you have it. My promises to try. We'll see how I fall out 365 days from now. I hope you have set some realistic things for yourself to achieve this coming year. As long as you promise to try, you have succeeded. So what are you going to try in 2016?

30 December 2015

Taking (crafting) Stock

So I was feeling rather unaccomplished this past year, as far as crafting goes. I normally make a ton of stuff but with all that went at work (promotion and then working two roles for several months), family issues, and general health challenges I just felt like I was flop. I gathered up all my projects for an end of year review blog post and found that I wasn't as bad as I thought - not as good as I normally am but not as bad as I feared.

I counted them up - there are 52 projects here. That's one yarny project a week for the entire year. That doesn't even take into account my recent sewing adventures!

Sometimes, when you feeling down, all you need to do is take a good honest look at what you've done. Chances are, it's more than you think.

03 December 2015

Something different

I have been toying with trying a podcast for a while now but was just too chicken. Welp, yesterday during my lunch hour I gave it a go. For some reason, the audio and video get out of sync later on the video but I may have a solution moving forward.

So here it is, my first ever attempt at vloggin'... podcasting... taping myself and feeling awkward... there, that's the best description of it right there. As my mama says - be kind.. and if you can't be kind, just be quiet. I know y'all will always be kind though, we crafty folks are always supportive - even of failed projects because they are also learning experiences.

29 November 2015

Sunday Snaps

We spent the afternoon decorating the house for Christmas.
We had a very productive day today. We got up and spent the morning at church. We heard a fabulous message regarding the Advent and Hope today. Hobbit really got a lot out of it - her goal is to read the book of Amos this week because Pastor Brian made mention of it in relation to this week's message.

After church, Hobbit and I ran to the grocery store while Pokey dressed the turkey and put it in the oven. Once we put the groceries up, we had lunch at Panera and dropped Hobbit off at Girl Scouts. They were decorating Christmas trees for the people at a local nursing home. She said she really loved spending the afternoon with the elderly residents and has narrowed her 'career choices' down to three - Engineering, Law, and Geriatric Medicine. I love how her passions and mind works some times.

Once I picked her up from Girl Scouts, we went home and decorated our house. She seemed to get really disappointed when I made mention that I was going to do it while she was away but save the tree for when we were all together. She sniffed at the idea though didn't say anything but seeing her disappointment, I waited. That made her super excited when I told her the news. So we decorated our house. She has a tree in her room that stands 4' tall and we have our family tree that stands over 6' - it's tall enough to hit the ceiling and we can't put a topper on it.

The outside did not get done but I'm sure my husband will do it next weekend - because we bought brand new lights for the porch area that are old fashioned big colored lights so he's excited to put them up, he was just really worn out today. I'm not complaining though, as he has been ten days without any type of nicotine - ecigarette or regular - so if he's a little worn out, that's okay. Tomorrow is another day.

I hope you have had an equally blessed day and are looking forward to a week full of cheer.

25 November 2015


So many blessings this week, it has been difficult to choose which I wanted to write so I figured I would just be me and write about them all.

This past week, Hobbit has been up with my folks. They drove up to Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia to make the same memories with her that they did with me so many years ago. I hope she had a wonderful time - judging by the photos I saw, she did. I know what you're thinking, why don't you call and ask her... well, because she's spending time with my folks and I don't want to infringe on their special time together. I will see her tomorrow and hear all about it.

This past Friday, I took the day off from work - I actually worked 4 ten hour days so I could be off on Friday - and Pokey and I spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We had a wonderful day enjoying some of our favorite attractions at our own pace. Taking Hobbit is always a treat but some days, we like to go at a little slower pace and this was one of those days. I have a ton of photos up on my Instagram account. Actually, if you start at the first one, I believe I documented our entire day at the park so you can stroll along with us - right down to knitting and reading in queue.

This week at work has been full of interesting things. I am finally down to just one job, working the normal hours I was initially told I would be working, and doing the job I was promoted to do. It has been fantastic! I have a feeling of normalcy back in my life. No more fretting over getting it all done, finding the hours, shuffling the priorities and reshuffling again. I have really enjoyed this week - and it was a short week considering I am done until Monday... another thing I'm thankful for, definitely.

Our little knitting group that my friend and I have been trying to get going looks like it's finally going to take off. We have tried different locations over the months and it appears as though this last one is the ticket. If you are in the area and have some free time on Saturday mornings, please come and join us! We're up to seven members now, Hobbit included.

We're fixing to head into a break month of all of my Ravelry tournament themed knitting groups - HPKCHC and Disney Adventures. It's been a crazy term/series but with work life settling down, this upcoming term/series should be fantastic. I've put in my request to be in a specific area of the Cup so we'll see if the blessings continue.

Speaking of more blessings, Pokey and I tried a new church this past Sunday and it was glorious. Very welcoming, not too big, powerful message, and we both agreed that we want to keep going. I truly believe we may have found our church home. Pokey wants to start their Men's Bible Study which meets before church so I'm guessing Hobbit and I can try out the Women's group that meets at the same time.

Sounds like Pokey is home with supper so I'm going to go. We've got to eat and get settled in for the night. I'm so proud of him - he's trying to quit smoking and hasn't had a cigarette or e-cigarette for the entire time that Hobbit has been away! Praise God for that for sure.

I hope y'all have a wonderful time with your loved ones tomorrow and I'll talk with you soon.

21 November 2015

A week of quiet

I took Hobbit up to meet my folks on Wednesday afternoon. They took her to Williamsburg, VA and she's got a scavenger hunt type of homework assignment since she is missing two days of school. So far, she's been having fun and I'm happy she is able to have these special memories with her grandparents. I lost mine when I was her age so I don't have those kinds of memories - though my parents more than made up for awesome memories for us.

Yesterday, Pokey and I made memories of our own. We went to Disney's Hollywood Studios and spent the whole day wandering around, enjoy attractions, and viewing the final season of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. If you follow me on Instagram,, then you were with me the entire day but just in case you don't, here are a few highlights.

We had a ton of fun just wandering around with no specific game plan in mind, very relaxing.
We went on the Great Movie Ride first and then we explored One Man's Dream - my two favorite attractions in this park.
Then we had a foodie's lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby - it was absolutely divine.
Afterwards, we walked off our lunch and headed over to Star Tours - we did a quick walk on and then used our FastPass.
After that, we headed over to Lights, Motors, Action and watched the stunt show because Pokey loves it - I love Lightening.
We followed that up with the Muppet Vision 3D movie and on our way out, I saw something I had never seen before - this!

I would love a wreath this big on my house - it would be bigger than my house so obviously I need a bigger house... lol.

Even found Santa sneaking about making sure the kids were nice so he could check his list.
I loved this Victorian Mickey and Minnie figurine but we promised that we were just going for fun and shopping this time.

Which was good because this Star Wars holiday shirt was super hard to resist. Lightsaber candy canes and Santa Yodas!

Then the lights happened - this is the final year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, we had to say goodbye.

I saw this window display on my way out and cracked up - secretly, I want to own it but I'm not sure where to put it.

And that's a wrap on our day out to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Lots of memories of our own were made.
It was great to take a day and just enjoy being together. We rarely get such a treat and since we took a three day weekend together, we're continuing our fun - though today has been stormy so we're just relaxing at home. We slept in and honestly have yet to get out of our pjs, which is something we've not done in forever.

Tomorrow we can do chores, today, we recharge.

08 November 2015

Sunday Snaps

I have spent the entire weekend reclaiming my bliss. I only allowed myself to do one chore - washing clothes, simply because we don't want to be nudists - but otherwise, I did nothing but that which made me happy... which this weekend meant sewing!

I made this fun little triangle bag as a Slytherin Prize Patrol gift. She wanted something to go in her bag - this should do nicely!
This bag is for Hobbit's teacher whose birthday is Tuesday. Hobbit bought a Goofy and he needed a bag to go in - wallah!

I made myself a superhero project bag because who doesn't want a Marvel Superhero tote bag to carry everywhere?
Recently, I had to break down and get a cell phone because Hobbit's new Girl Scout troop is very active and I didn't want to be tied down at home... oh, for those who didn't know - her original troop was awful and didn't follow any of the proper handbook things so I asked for her to be reassigned after a month. This new troop is fabulous, though a bit over-scheduled in my opinion but the leader is engaged and excited and has been doing it for years. She's even a leader in the high rankings of area Girl Scout offices. Can't remember what it is but it is nice to have her.

So, because they are super active, I broke down and got a cell phone because the leader texts alerts and updates and if they are out, I won't have to be stuck in the house all the time. So with this new phone, I have found Instagram. It is a ton of fun and I have been posting there to keep my sanity while my work life sucks out my soul. I only have roughly 35 more working days of this and then my life will become a million times better.

Alrighty, I'm off to take some medicine for a raging headache that I have all thanks to my lovely neighbor who has been working on his cars and motorcycle all day. His garage is right next to my office/craft room so all the revving and fumes have done me in.

Have a beautiful and blessed week!

31 October 2015

(un)Happy Halloween

It started out great. We took Hobbit to the mall to do some Trick or Treating. It was nice. She came back with a bag full of candy and was content. The comic book store - one of our favorite places - was even giving away free comics!

I think if we end up going out again next year, that is what we'll do. We are reaching the end of our Trick or Treating years. Hobbit will be 11 next year and I remember I was not far from that age when I stopped going.

Before we left, we had put our bowl of candy out and a cute little note... and it was still there when we returned home not but a few minutes ago.  Then... then it happened.  I was sitting here in the living room with my laptop and I heard them. I knew what they were doing thanks to the girl in the group who said "what... oh my *od... hehehhee". I sprung from my chair and out the front door - it was gone!

They literally stole all our candy that we put out and the bowl that it was in!! This is a practice we have been doing for years. We put out a bowl of candy and we both take Hobbit around the neighborhood. Every year we come back to a bit of candy being left in the bowl - no problems. We're talking three years of doing the exact same thing.  This year, this year we get robbed.

So being the cool headed person I am, I ran out the door after them. I knew who they were. I saw them leave my driveway. I marched behind them, ordering them to give me back my bowl of candy for the kids. They were ignoring me and acting like they couldn't hear me.  I got right up to them and demanded my candy and my bowl back.

Please bear in mind, chasing hoodlums down the street is completely out of character for me. I was just so outraged that they would do such a thing - all because they thought no one was home and they could get away with it. So there I was , chasing these teenagers down the street, I was so mad.

Pokey went out with a flashlight and found the bowl two houses down, tossed in the neighbor's bushes. He was worse than me, hollering things that I am sure he isn't proud of and we both agreed that this is our final straw when it comes to teenagers these days.

There is now a sign on my front door that says "No Candy - the teenagers stole it & the bowl. We're sorry"... and next year, we are simply not going to participate at all. My faith in our neighborhood, in our future, is shattered.

Time to start looking at the housing market and getting our financing in order. I am done.

29 October 2015

Getting it all done... sooner or later...

Oh my stars, it's been a month, let me tell you! I think I may have already told y'all but I got a promotion at work. I'm super excited for it to be a full time gig instead of splitting it between my old role and my new one. To top it all off, I've been assisting with a new team transition which means super long hours and very little sleep.  In short, it's been insane.

I was talking with my new manager the other day and she is just as excited as I am to not be 'shared' any longer. That was nice to hear. I am working like a crazy woman - first half of the week has been devoted to the transition, change over happens at lunch on Wednesdays and then the rest of the week is spent on my new role. 64 days... that's all the longer I have to do this, at most.

I've not had a lot of time to craft, which makes me rather sad. I made time, finally, this week and completed a headband. Originally I was going to do a huge blanket for Hobbit's teacher. I realized two things - I didn't like my two combined color palettes put together and I don't have enough time to finish it. I opted to change my game plan up and make her teacher a collection of headbands.

The other day though, I had to make something. I get crabby when I can't craft - so I repurposed a skirt that I've had for 12 years or more that finally gave up the ghost. I cut it up and turned it into a project bag, keeping my most favorite part of the skirt. It was a new to me pattern but I have to say, I absolutely love it!
I couldn't just toss this skirt out - I love the Eeyore so much, I just had to find a way to keep it.

I want to start a lace hat tonight or tomorrow. It's imperative that I get it done, as it's a gift for someone in my family. Fingers crossed, I'll be able to do it during lunch. That will be satisfying - knitting a simple lace hat and having a fully completed project.

On Sunday, I'm excited to be going out to visit a new outlet shopping center that opened today. It has a ton of cool stores and my sweet friend and I are going to have fun wandering around. It's going to be a most of the day event so I tried to get Pokey to come with me but he totally doesn't want to deal with the crowds of people which he is envisioning - mostly thanks to the news coverage for opening day today. I can't blame him. I know he gets anxious around crowds and he despises shopping... but still, I really wanted him to come too. I don't know why, other than I haven't had a lot of time to hang out with my family these past few weeks.

Oh well, I get him all to myself the week leading up to Thanksgiving since Hobbit is going up to Virginia with my folks. I'm sure we'll reconnect then... if not sooner.

Here's to shorter days, longer nights, family time, and stolen moments. I hope y'all have had a glorious week that brings you joy and a weekend full of things that will bring you peace.

21 September 2015

Topping Off Our Tanks

We all needed a Disney Day so yesterday, we headed out to the Magic Kingdom to top off our tank with some pixie dust!
It was exactly what we needed - a day surrounded by fun, laughter, love, and magic. I took that little hat from the previous post and managed to get some serious work done it while waiting in the queues and toddling around the park.

Nothing makes the day better moreso than a bit of pixie dust - and goodness knows, I have been needing a pixie dust refill! We hadn't been since our anniversary so that meant 3 months without a visits. Sure, we generally skip the summer months because of too many tourists but it was too much this time around so we took the day and had some fun.

I hope that you were able to refill your tanks with whatever helps you run - sleep, crafting, sunshine, family, or friends. I can face anything as long as I have had a nice bit relaxation before the work week comes rushing in... and if there is a bit of Disney magic involved, I can handle anything!

17 September 2015

A shocking reality...

Why yes... I did count in the reality of finishing an item well into the wee hours on Christmas morning because we've all been there, done that!

13 September 2015

Moseying through the week

Clockwise from top left: Slythein Hieroglyphics, I Need to Knit, Christmas for Craig, and Frozen No More

That's exactly what I've done - mosied through the week. I've had awesome days and truly horrible days this week. It's just been a real roller coaster. Today, I'm taking it slow and, honestly, lazy. I plan on working on my projects and just letting the day quietly mosey by because mosey is the theme of this week.

My awesome model - some days he truly does embody the spirit of Peter... part of why I love him so dearly.
Also, I wanted to thank y'all for the great response to my latest pattern release - Peter Pan's Hat. In it's first week out, it's been downloaded almost 100 times already. This just fabulous. I'm so glad y'all like it. I was a little concerned because it is such a silly piece but it has been well received so thanks to all y'all for making my heart happy.

I hope y'all have a fabulous week ahead - mosey if you feel the need, meander if it feels even better!

10 September 2015

A "refreshing" review

Today I am going to share with you a book by Sharon Silverman entitled "Crochet Refresher" but honestly, this book is perfect for any crocheter. I was asked to participate in the tour and I thought "Huh, a refresher course for crochet... but I'm really active with my hook so I should be prepared to not find much in here for me."  Well, I couldn't be more wrong!

Yes, there a great diagram tutorials with easy to follow instructions and detailed images on how to do specific stitches - I learned I had been doing 'front post double crochet' wrong all these years! - but there are patterns sprinkled throughout this book that will keep you hooked, pardon the pun.

After each section where you learn a couple new stitches, Sharon throws in a few patterns so you can put your new (or renewed) skills to work. And these aren't those mindbogglingly dull things that you sometimes get at classes where you have a square that gets labeled a washcloth just to drone the skill home.  Oh no, I'm talking patterns for things you will actually want and use in your life.

Now I know what you're thinking - but PMM, we don't know/have any babies in our life right now.  I understand, but you do you have a NICU or a hospital in your area? Do you have a favorite charity that could use some love? The baby blankets also make wonderful lapghans or wraps for hospice patients. I do all of these things as well as have a box on hand for "Oh yeah" presents.  You know what I mean... your husband comes home and says "Oh yeah, Peggy Sue from work is pregnant. She's fixin' to take maternity leave" or your child in college comes home and says "Oh yeah, Bobby Jo's sister is having a baby. Can you make me something to give her before it's born next week?". Do not laugh, these are real life situations - not real life names but real life "Oh yeah" moments.

I highly recommend this book for crochet enthusiasts of all ages and levels. Whether you are just starting or haven't hooked in years - or you've never put your hook down and are just looking for some fun new patterns - then I suggest you get your hands on a copy of Sharon Silverman's "Crochet Refresher". You'll be so glad you did!

05 September 2015

What a week, I swear...

This has been quiet a week, let me tell you. I managed to hurt my back sitting.  SITTING! How is one that talented that they can get injured sitting at work.  Not bending, lifting, twisting... nope... sitting. I am so special.

Needless to say, I have spent the past umpteen days popping medicine like candy and living prone on a heating pad. Every time I think it's getting better, I stand up and try to walk and am reminded that I am a silly, silly person. I can't even sit and craft.  Thankfully, I can crochet a little while laying down but after while, my shoulders ache so I can't get much done.

So that's been me. Sitting oddly at work all week and laying like a log as soon as my shift is over. As much as I don't want to, I'm going to have to hand off my one project to another sampler crafter to finish. It's killing me but if I can't move then I can't make my commitment. Awesome first impression, huh.

On the upside - all y'all's prayers worked... I got the promotion! It's not been announced at work yet but none of them know I write here so I'm fine saying something to y'all.  I was so happy, I couldn't stand myself. I'll be glad when they announce it next week. This is just the blessing that I have been hoping for and I know it will be fabulous.

I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend and stays safe.  By the way... only 111 days until Christmas!!  Just thought I would throw that out there for y'all... in case you're crafting.

28 August 2015

Weekend Wonderment

Yesterday, my gorgeous granddaughter was born. My son and his fiancee sent me photos while I was at work and I was overjoyed. Isn't she beautiful! She weighed 8 lbs and was 20 inches long. She's eating like a champion and sleeping like a pro.

Happy Birthday, Emily-Rose... your Nanny loves you very much.

26 August 2015

Wednesday Wound-Up

I'm trying to get back in the regular swing of things now that school has gone back in session. It may take me a while to get this all free flowing again but sooner or later, it will happen. I kind of figured if you have stuck with me this far, you totally understand.

So here is what I have going on at the moment. Granted, I have a sock project in my purse and a shawl project in my yarn trolley but these two are my main focus right now - one is paid sample work and the other is a Christmas present... hence the reason you can't really see either.

I love that my husband chose such a gorgeous shade of purple for his sweater.  I just hope he loves it when I'm done.

25 August 2015

Tuesday Tunes

I'm home sick today, and I feel horrible I tend to put on some music really low in the background.  Today I am hoping Billy does the trick.  I'm sharing one of my favorites with you, to get your day off to a better start than mine.

24 August 2015

A last first

This is Hobbit's last first day of Elementary School. I can't believe how much she has grown - both physically and emotionally. Every day is a new adventure in laughter, tears, patience, and understanding. I can't believe that in 9 short months, my little Hobbit will be a middle schooler!

Peanut is also have a year full of last firsts. Yesterday was her last first night in the dorms, as she has started her Senior year of college this week. It's hard to believe how much my life has changed over these past five years.

For all that was good, bad, and in between - it has all most definitely been the biggest of blessings.

23 August 2015

Rekindling a love

I used to have such a love affair with photography and photo editing but for some reason, over the past two years, it has dwindled a bit. I was actually missing it this week so I rejoined an old group yesterday to try and catch a spark of that flame and fan it bright.  These were the fruits of my labors.

The bottom left is the first one I submitted under the prompt of "Path" and the bottom middle won out for today's prompt of "Lighting" - though the top image put up a valiant fight and I think if I had posted it instead I would still feel like I should have posted the other. The image of Hobbit was taken on Thursday for Orientation but I didn't 'work' the image until yesterday.

I can feel my creative side starting to poke through a bit more. As my dear Robin once said, we're only given a little spark of madness and we mustn't lose it... so this is me, doing my best to not lose it.

21 August 2015

Sewing, stitching, and staying above water

Oh mylanta. I've been one busy girl!  Lots of irons in the fire lately makes for very little time in other places some days.

I've got a dream gig that just makes me so happy. It's a side job, honestly, but it's not really work to me so I love it. I am making sample pieces for a major yarn company!! Yep, I've got my first one under way right now and as soon as it's released, I'll share the details with you.  Once I got that gig, I had an indie designer jump on board with my sample crafting as well.  I'm getting paid to play with yarn.  You can't beat that!

We had Orientation the other day at Hobbit's school. She was so excited to be back at her old school.  She went around visiting with her old teachers and staff members of the school.  They all wanted to know where she was last year and so happy that she came 'home' for her final year in elementary school.

I honestly wanted to keep it for myself but that would have wrong, right?
Speaking of new school years, I made a bag for her to give her new teacher.  I must say, it is the best bag I've ever made. It is also the biggest bag I've ever done - it finished out at a whopping 16"hx12"wx6"d!! We didn't know if Hobbit's teacher was going to be male or female so I went with blueberries and gingham.  That could work for anyone right? When we gave it to her, she said it was amazing and in her favorite colors so I was tickled.

Her teacher is brand new to the school and is doing the entire self contained gifted classroom.  It houses all three grades (3rd, 4th, and 5th) and there were only 12 student names on the tables the other day.  She comes from South Carolina, is a total nerd (loves Disney, Doctor Who, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and many more), and used to teach 6th grade gifted so she's got experience.  I really liked her and so did Hobbit. She is about as tall as Hobbit, has beautiful ginger hair, and hipster glasses.  She was overjoyed with the bag (and granny square cup cozy) I made for her and after our conversation, she proclaimed Hobbit her most favorite student of all time.

I'm excited for school to go back in session. It's be one long, crazy, and exhausting break. Peanut heads back to college for her Senior year tomorrow, Hobbit is starting her final year of elementary school on Monday, and my newest granddaughter is scheduled to arrive on Thursday.  What an exciting year we have ahead!

11 August 2015

What a day it's been

I went to bed having an allergic reaction last night, thinking when I woke up it would have passed.  Nope, it didn't pass at all - it morphed into an episode that lasted most of the day. I was worn out by noon and ended up sleeping in my chair until 4:30ish.  Thankfully, I woke up feeling a lot better.  Still not fabulous or 100% but way better than when I woke up earlier this morning.

Then, I get a call from Pokey who was late coming home. The reason for it was because he got into a car accident.  He is fine, thank God. He contacted our insurance and since it was minor damage to either car, they just exchanged information and moved on with life. His little car has some damage on the front left bumper area but hopefully we will be able to get it fixed. I know the car insurance will pay for a rental car while they work on the repair so he won't be without a car... and neither will I.

My friend, KP, had come over after work so we could both learn how to sew box bags. We had cut out the fabric and just beginning to sew them when her husband texted her.  He wasn't feeling well and wanted her home.  I know that feeling - can't do anything but wait it out, which is frustrating, and wanting someone to just make it better.  Naturally, she went home to care for him so our sewing date was put on hold.

I did finish my bag though. I am rather proud of it, though I learned a few things along the way.  The first being that I need a handle.  I like mine that have handles so this one needs that as well. The second is that I need zipper tabs.  They truly are important.

So that's been my day. Not the best one on record but at least it had a shiny spot to share.

09 August 2015

Sunday Snaps

I've been getting to know my sewing machine.  She's a sweet thing who stopped fighting with me this week!

08 August 2015

Vacation for some, work for others

This past week has been odd.  Pokey and Hobbit were both on vacation and I had to work all week. It made for some very off kilter nights, as they will both stay up all hours of the night and I have to go to bed by 11 o'clock at the latest to be coherent enough to work in the morning at 8am.  Then, while I was at work at 8 o'clock, they would roll out of bed around my lunch hour after noon.  Thankfully, it's all winding down - Pokey goes back to work on Monday and Hobbit is going back on her school bed schedule this week because she has orientation on the 20th and back to school on the 24th!

I have knit very little this past week. I made Hobbit a finger less mitt to go with one I had made back around Easter.  She now has  a complete set. While I've not been knitting, I have been getting geared up to get to know my sewing machine better!  I bought a ton of fat quarters, interfacing, and notions to make project bags.
They are super cute, aren't they!

The first type I wanted to try was the Japanese Knot Bag.  I tried two tutorials - Stacy Sews and Schools' DIY Japanese Knot Bag which has an envelop bottom and Helen Heaths' Japanese Knot Bag Tutorial which has a circular bottom.

I learned a lot with both of them and the main thing that I'm taking away is that I am not a Japanese Knot Bag kind of girl.  I like box bags or totes. I thought these would be cute for little odds and ends projects but honestly, I don't do odds and ends projects.  Most of what I knit or crochet is big and it needs a bigger bag.  While I highly recommend both - as they are very nice - I think my next adventure in sewing will be towards a tote bag and then a box bag.

I like them both but if I could take the handles from the envelop and put them on the other bag, it would be perfect.

03 August 2015

Worthiness and whipped up WIPs

In some of my knitting groups, we are getting organized for holiday gift crafting and there is term that keeps getting passed around - knitworthy.  Apparently, they rank their family and friends as to whether or not they deem them 'worthy' to receive a handcrafted item for the holidays.

I'm sorry but that just sounds a bit too snobbish for me.  I enjoy crafting and I have a fairly decent stash that is heavy on the acrylic/easy care front. I make items for everyone.  My mother, a crafter herself, will receive items made out of more luxurious yarns than perhaps my grandchildren simply because kids need more durable items and I would hate to saddle the parent of anyone tiny with the responsibility of hand washing and blocking an item.

Everyone is worthy of an item made out of love from a craft you enjoy.  It's a gift to you in making something with your hands and it's a gift to them when you present it. There are times when I make things and simply place them in the charity bins around town. I don't know the homeless or downtrodden soul who will receive my gift but that doesn't make them any less 'worthy' than a relative. Who knows, it could be just the thing the lift their spirits and help them rise above their circumstances.

I think we, as crafters, should change this mindset and deem everyone worthy. We - or at least I - get selfish pleasure out of making it and they get pleasure out of receiving and wearing it.  It's a win-win situation. Celebrate everyone and craft for all!

Speaking of crafting, this weekend I finished up two projects that have made me tickled. The first is a lace knitting bag for my upcoming sock knitting adventure. I've ordered my needles (size 0-4) and when they arrive, I will embark on learning how to knit socks on straights.  I wanted a special bag just for that and so I made this little beauty.

My Knitting Bag - Ravelry Project Page - Knit Picks Brava Worsted yarns
The pattern is from an old Jane Austin Knits magazine and I've been wanting to make it for years but I was too scared of the lace and I didn't understand the little herringbone stitch for the base.  I decided to tackle it this week because I've got more knitting experiene under my belt and I must say, I love it! Even the lining was a new adventure for me.  I pleated the material at the top so that it would 'grow' with the bag and not be as confining when the bag stretches beautifully.  Overall, I'm pleased as punch.

I also made a fabulous summer bonnet this past weekend.  I went scrap stash diving and worked from that basket. I have so many odds and ends of leftovers, it's nice to find projects that help use up those bits. This pattern was newly released on Ravelry in July so I thought I would give it a try and I have to say, I really like how it turned out. 

Cool Breeze - Ravelry Project Page - Red Heart Super Saver yarns
I had to make a few tweaks to the project because the designer only made it in her size which is a little bit larger than my head size.  I made notes on my project page though, in case anyone else had the same challenge. Having worn it yesterday to my knitting group meeting, I found that it is a bit large but I believe it helped in not being too hot wear comfortably... and in Florida, that is a big deal!

Currently it's raining and has been for some time.  We've got flood advisories and thunderstorms - such fun. Not a lot of sleep was found last night but hopefully it will be quieter tonight so I will go to bed early to make up for it.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?  Do you have exciting plans for this week?

25 July 2015

My how times change

I loved back to school time as a kid.  I got a new school bag and all the supplies a little nerd could ask for - binders, folders, pencil cases, pencils, pens, paper, organizers.  It was one of the most exciting times of the year for me as a kid.  Sadly, times have changed.

Now, instead of buy supplies for my child I am given a list of $40 worth of items that are considered "standard" that I am requested to purchase and bring to the classroom.  They aren't supplies for Hobbit but instead, for the "community".  Our list looked like this today -

• 3 pkgs. #2 pencils
• 1 box of Crayola colored pencils or markers
• 2 pkg thin dry erase markers
• Pkg of highlighters
• Pkg of Post-it notes
• 1 pair Fiskar scissors
• 2 Elmer’s white glue stick
• 5 solid color pocket folders with pockets and prongs
• 3 composition notebooks (not spiral)
• 2 boxes of tissues
• 1 ream of plain white copy paper
• 1 pack of WIDE ruled lined paper
• 1 bottle of unscented hand sanitizer
• 1 in or 1 ½ in three ring binde

These items are to be handed in, without Hobbit's name on them, so they can be added to some larger community pool of supplies.  Once we've met the teacher, I will be handed a second list of supplies that are classroom specific.  That list generally runs me an additional $40 and is full of more community items such as construction paper, zip lock baggies, index cards and the like.  Again, no name on them because of the whole "community" aspect.

When did this become the norm?  When did people stop supplying for their own children and start having to foot the bill for everyone else?  I know this sounds terrible but let me explain how I have come to despise the whole "it takes a village" mindset...

Last year, the teacher sent home a list of supplies to make graham cracker cookie houses just before Christmas break.  None of the families brought things in and Hobbit's teacher asked her to see if we could bring in EVERYTHING on the list.  We were floored at the nerve but thought perhaps there was a new system and we were somehow financially responsible for this activity.  We did as requested and $35 later had the supplies for her entire class to make graham cracker cookie house before the holiday break... only to have the supplies divvied up on January 6th when they returned BACK from break.  We were then given a list for the Valentine's Day party and asked if we could supply it all.  That is when we put our foot down.

We called the teacher and were told that the other parents could not afford it.  During the school meeting night, we met the other parents.  The women all - and no, am not exaggerating - had their nails done, both men and women were covered in tattoos, everyone had their nose in an updated cellphone, and the vast majority wreaked of cigarette smoke.  It was vile.  So no, it's not that they couldn't afford it - they chose to not do it!

I do not get my nails my done because it is a luxury that I chose to not indulge in at the moment.  I used to many years ago but stopped when I needed the money for other things. I do not have tattoos but I do know they are expensive.  I do not have a cellphone because that is an expense I do not need or want.  I do not smoke but I do know the cost of the habit, as I used to smoke myself but I most certainly never did so at the expense of my children's needs.

I don't appreciate being saddled with the expense of other people's children simply because they chose to spend their money on their nails, cellphone service, cigarettes, or tattoos.  Instead of buying a carton of cigarettes, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Instead of paying for the expensive cellphone plan, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Instead of having their nails done that week, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Lots of ways in order to pay for these things... the difference in where people have their priorities.

Mine are towards my family... so excuse me if I refuse to be a part of your 'village'.  I'm sorry that you don't care enough about the welfare and needs of your family to forgo some of your luxury expenses but I am not going to be the one who foots the bill because you are a deadbeat.  If you can't afford to outfit your child for school but you can somehow afford your nails, hair, tattoos, cigarettes, and cellphone then perhaps your child would be better off in a home where they would be properly attended to - as it appears you are too selfish and lazy to do the job.

Now, please excuse me while I go and write my daughter's name in her new sparkly binder for school.  The 'village' can kiss my hiney...

19 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

Sweet as Sugar project page - made with Knit Picks Brava Sport in Rouge and Umber Heather
I am spending my day shaking off a pretty terrible end to the week.  I'm just going to sit here, veg out on House Hunters and work on my Whippoorwill pattern that was gifted to me.  It is just a relaxing knit that I'm absolutely loving and totally grateful for having today.  It's hard to see but I'm actually a third of the way through with it!

18 July 2015

Life changing, according to the coffee...

It's been an eventful week - nothing life changing, sans the coffee, but still very eventful for me.
I've been a busy beaver this week.  I finished a sweater for my friend's daughter.  I frogged and restarted a pair of socks for my husband (different pattern).  I started an interesting cowl for my youngest daughter. I received beautiful yarn that I purchased through Ravelry via someone's stash. I had life changing coffee - says so, right on the cup. I received more gorgeous yarn through the same means but this is enough to make a sweater for me!

The week didn't seem like much went on - mostly because Hobbit was not here so it was mellow and low key - but when you pile it all together and take a look at it, it was rather nice.  I also ordered enough yarn to make Pokey a sweater for Christmas.  It is going to be a beautiful shade of purple for the Old Way Gansey sweater. I am torn between proposing it for my OWL during Fall Term or if I should just start and when the yarn arrives because goodness knows, that extra four weeks may be just what I need to finish on time.

Time for me to get moving though.  I've got to grab a quick shower so we can drive the two hours up to get Hobbit. Yesterday was a stressful day so I'm honestly not looking forward to going like I normally am but worst case scenario is that I have enough time to use the restroom before turning around and driving straight back home again. 

On the upside, I have my virtual knitting night with my Disney Adventures group so that will be fun.  Feel free to join us - we love making new friends!  All you need is Skype and we'll get you connected with us.  Shoot me a PM on Ravelry if you'd like join in.  We meet every Saturday night starting at 8:30pmET. We work on our projects, talk, have coffee, and just hang out enjoying one another's company.

12 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

I got a few things done this week - lace, photo deconstruction, and learned charted color work.
It was one of those weeks, you know? I wasn't up to snuff for most of it so as you can see, my productivity was super far down. Oh well, I learned a few things so that makes up for a little bit, right?

I made a lace cowl.  The original pattern stopped after the center lace but it felt uneven to me so I repeated the first lace section over again.  I really like how it came out.  It is just big enough to be of value down here in Florida without being too overwhelming.

My son asked me to make him a Hello Kitty sleep sack for his soon to arrive daughter.  How could I possibly say no - he's never asked me for anything!  Naturally, I got right on it... and it took me 2.5 months worth of trial and error to get it looking close to the photo he showed me.  I think I frogged and restarted this piece about five times but I'm finally done and it will be placed in the box for Emily and Kiki.

I took a day to learn how to do stranded color work from a chart.  It was interesting and required a lot more concentration that I could afford that day but it got my mind off other things - which was the whole point - so it was a win... and I didn't do a bad job with it.  One little section is a bit too tight but I corrected it later on and learned from that mistake.

Hoping for a better week this week.  Doctor appointments on Wednesday and work all week so nothing exciting.  Hobbit was picked up by my folks today for a week with them.  She's excited to be up there and they like having her so I'll take the week to rest.  She'll be going back to school at the end of August this year so she might be able to sneak in one more week if she's good.

I hope  y'all had a fabulous week.  Did you make anything or learn anything new?

05 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

I have been crafting up a storm, all week - and it felt really great!
This week I have been making things and it felt so good.  It really recharged my batteries to spend hours playing with my yarn.

I started the week by finishing up my Matching Wrap!  I was so happy to have it completed.  It was fun and I love the color combination. Things have been deliciously slower at work so I was able to make a few things - like the beret and the hotpad - during the week. 

I finished up the week by making the doll cape, backpack (colors are due to a HPKCHC class, Potions, not my choosing), and yarn caddy all yesterday!  Oh yes, so many hours spent in preparation of constant noise that would be happening... and did happen, well past 2:30 this morning!

Today, I'm going to work on the two projects I have going on (Abigail's sweater and my shrug) but I'm going to start a simple cowl for something to do during knitting group, and I need to get to the start of Row 11 on my Whippoorwill so that my friend KP can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong at that point.  I really want to make this shawl because it means a lot to me - one of my sweet readers gifted it to me with a note letting me know I wasn't alone and understood where I was coming from in regards to my recent diagnosis.  I'm going to be doing it in a delicious bubble gum pink and chocolate brown - and it will be gorgeous!

I hope y'all have a fabulous week ahead.  Did you get a chance to play with your projects this week?

29 June 2015

You'll be indecisive too!

You think the cover is awesome, just wait...
I'm paralyzed by indecision - something that rarely happens to me.  I am the one in this family who makes the final decisions.  We discuss and it always ends up with either an "I don't care" or an "I don't know" which leaves me to be the one who makes the final call... because I am never paralyzed by indecision... until today.

What has caused this challenge -   Scarves In The Round, by Heather Walpole, is to blame because it is full of too many fabulous patterns and I can figure out where I want to start! At first I thought I would make something light because living on the surface of sun, I don't get a lot of use out of heavier items. But have you seen the heavier items - oh my bob, they're delicious!  The cables, the colors, the snuggle factor.  I died!!

I tried to pull myself together and resign myself to something practical that I could wear more often than stare at it longingly but that honestly was no help at all.  The lace, the picots, the drape.  How is a knitter supposed to be able to choose where to start when they all beg to be on my needles?!?

Everything is grouped into fabulous categories - From Beautiful Basics to Creative Colorwork, it's all here.

So I did what anyone in my position would do - I closed my eyes and randomly opened the book... this is where I fell and this is what I will make. Now, while I go and find the perfect yarn from my stash, take a look at this wonderful book...

I just adore the picot cast on and cast off of this piece. It's such a beautifully light and airy cowl that everyone should own.

This scarf makes me long for the holidays and the best part is, it's in the round so all the floats are safely tucked inside!

I'd wear this on more than just Wednesday, that's for sure! Can't you imagine a rainbow variegated against the black.. lovely!

Don't know how to do something?  Don't worry!  There are gorgeous photo tutorials in the back to explain everything for you.

Can you understand now how I was paralyzed... you will be too, I swear.  Best cure is to simply make them all!

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