Thursday, July 31, 2008

The dark side

I've become bored with my knitting lately. There. I said it. It's not that there aren't a million things I'd like to knit, because there are. It's just that I made myself promise that I'd pay some attention to a few languishing projects before casting on for new ones.

Holding true to that, I've not cast on for anything new. Of course, that means that I've also not been knitting much at all.

Instead, I've been crocheting. *gasp* I know. But we all know that crochet is not knitting, and therefore doesn't count as 'cheating' on my UFOs, right? Besides, it's been sort of fun learning a whole new craft. And it goes so quickly in comparison. I haven't tackled anything monstrous yet-- just some little toys. But they're total instant gratification, and I can't seem to stop.

I've sort of lost motivation for a lot of things lately- crafting just being one of the small things. I can't seem to find the energy to do a lot of things-- housework, school stuff, real work, it's all suffering, but I'm not sure how to get myself out of this rut.

Sooner or later, necessity will drag me, kicking and screaming, back into the rat race, but for now, I'm perfectly content to sit here in my jammies at an hour completely unbecoming, and do absolutely nothing.

I did manage to spin about 1 oz of some pretty cranberry roving yesterday, though. Maybe there's hope.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

House of Snot

Heard in a whiney little voice last night in between Ny-Quill induced comas: "Mommy, my boogers make my words sound funny."

Yup... that about sums it up.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

A beaver says what?

I'm in the bathroom this morning brushing my teeth. J's on my bed with a few of his stuffed animals. I'm half-listening to their teddy bear dialog and his imagined scenarios until suddenly I hear "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!"

Now, just an hour earlier, when he dropped his entire bowl of cereal, milk and all, on my freshly swept and mopped kitchen floor, I may have, in the silentest of whispers, uttered the same word somewhere in the vicinity of his keen earshot.

"Dammit, Dammit, Dammit!" he says again.

I steel myself and sweetly say, "Hey honey, I know you heard Mama say that word this morning, but I shouldn't have said it. It's an ugly word, and we shouldn't use it, ok?"

He looked up at me very matter-of-factly, holds forth the stuffed critter who has broken the language rule, and asks, "But Mama, what else is the beaver going to say?"

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

So much for productivity

I woke up this morning wanting to accomplish so much, but sometimes whatever cosmic force you might believe in has it out for you.

After finally getting both J and hubby motivated and out the door, which is a small feat in and of itself, we headed to the produce store to get, well... produce, of course. J pitched a fit right in the middle of the shop, which I'd like to say is completely uncharacteristic of him, but lately it seems to be his normal routine. Quite frustrating. He's always been a fun and agreeable shopping partner, but lately, he's been ridiculously difficult. After assuaging whatever it was that had him all askew, we had a good time picking out all sorts of yummy stuff-- some plantains, an acorn squash, some apples, giant tomatoes, snap peas, a watermelon. Yum!

When we got in the car to leave, the damn thing wouldn't start. Now, we just spent $500 less than a month ago to correct this very problem, but apparently, my car's got just as much attitude as my kid. Some helpful kids who work at the store came to the rescue and were able to get it jump started. We drove it directly to the auto parts store where they diagnose it with a dead battery. It makes sense, driving it with a faulty starter for so long just put an early end to the battery.

The good news to all of this is that the battery was still under warranty, so we only had to pay half price for the new one.

Wil borrowed some tools and installed it while J and I sat in the shade on the sidewalk and shared an iced tea and swatted the gnats. Believe me, I was more than grateful for the simple fix, but what a crappy time of year to be stuck in the heat with a broken car and a whiny kid.

After the battery was installed, we brought the veggies home, and then went to get something to eat because the last thing I felt like doing was facing the mountain of dishes in the sink so that I could make more by cooking dinner.

Dinner sucked out loud. The food wasn't terrible, but the service was awful, it was crowded, their a/c was just barely blowing, and J, again, was being a booger. Seriously, I've never had to deal with this sort of phase before with him, and I'm somewhat at a loss for a solution. Do I drag his whiny butt out of every place? Or does that simply give him his way?

Sometimes just when I think I've got the parenting thing all figured out, he throws me a curve ball. I just wish I knew what was spawning this particular brand of behavior.


And I still need to go to the grocery.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008


There hasn't been much to show in the way of knitting lately. It's not that I'm NOT knitting, but simply that I'm ALSO doing a lot of other things, and so progress is slow and boring.

What's been occupying my time, you ask? Well, mostly this:

This picture cracks me up. Doesn't he look like a cross between Miami Vice and bad tourist?

He's also been eating into my computer time, ever since he discovered that he can play Noggin and Nick Jr. games online. Any time I sit down here to write something, he's immediately in my lap and stealing the mouse. To be fair, I'd rather him play a game than sit in front of the tv, so I don't mind so much.

Not having any computer time has lead way to another new addiction though-- sewing. To be fair, I've spent more time shopping for sewing stuff than I have actually spent sewing. I never realized how much you could love shopping for fabric! So far I've made one pair of pants that still lack a hemmed leg, and this skirt.

The picture's awful, I know. But it's hard to take a picture of yourself. Here's a closeup of the fabric.

It's just some stuff bought on the clearance rack for $1. I didn't want to invest too much in sewing if it ended up being just a brief phase.

And finally, after being inspired by this post by Amanda, I decided it was time
to revisit the world of crochet. I've never been good at it, and I've never really understood a lot of the required stitches, but I decided to try something easy, and went with a cute little cupcake pattern.

Here's my result. Still not spectacular, but cute enough to package up and include in a birthday gift to my niece, who turns two next week.

So anyway, there's my update on what's been going on around here. I've been terribly lax in my posting lately. Not that I ever have much of great importance to share. :)

This week I plan to do a bit more sewing, finish off a pair of very plain socks, and work a little more on a shrug I abandoned almost a year ago. We'll see how it goes.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Not lost

I swear that I'm still around here somewhere. I've just found a lot of stuff to fill my time with lately.

Thursday night I met up with a group of local knitters for a little stitching time. It was a nice little group of 5, and I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping that this can become a routine sort of thing, now that we all know we're really out there. There are a couple of other groups that meet throughout the county, but they're always mid-morning or early afternoon, and that just doesn't work for us folks that have daytime jobs. Hopefully our little group will evolve into it's own entity in time.

There's also been some sewing going on around here. It's been about 12 years or more since I've been serious about trying to sew anything, so it's like learning from scratch all over again. So far I've made a skirt and I'm nearly done with a pair of pants. They're certainly not works of greatness, but they've been great 'practice' projects. I'm itching to make some bags and wallets, but the skirt and the pants seemed much less intimidating.

One of the things I'm learning about sewing is that, just like knitting, I could spend a million dollars and still find that there's something else I need or want. So far the only major purchase I've made is a cutting mat and rotary cutter, which I'm insanely in love with. Makes me never want to pick up a pair of scissors again! Seriously. Now, I don't think I'll ever be a great quilter, so I didn't spring for a top of the line model, but my cheap-o will serve me well, I'm sure.

Between that, and just building up a stash of notions--threads, extra bobbins, trims, etc... I've seriously overblown my budget. I've only been a sewer for a week or so and I'm already having to put myself on a stash diet. But no worries. I did just clean out my closet in order to accommodate the sewing machine. That means huge bags of fabric in the form of scrub tops, jeans, and outgrown clothes. That's almost more fun than going out and buying new fabric, honestly-- the challenge of trying to repurpose stuff I already have is great.

And so, pictures eventually. If you promise not to laugh at my juvenile efforts. I know that when I look back at my knitting from just a year or so ago and I can see my progress. I'm sure that sewing will be the same, if I manage to stick with it.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pimp My Space

I posted a while back about how I was going to take my closet and turn it into a sewing/craft area. Well, apparently I had big dreams about how much I could do in a 5 x 3 space!
Weekend before last, I finally got serious about getting things set up, and I bought a collapsible table and some wire storage to start organizing the space.

The table is 3 foot by 4, leaving me just a sliver of space on the side. The wire storage cubes are great for holding my yarn, but eventually I'll buy some cloth 'drawer' things to go in there to keep them dust free, or else invest in some big zip-locks. The set I bought formed six cubes, but I mis-measured by about 1/10 of an inch, and they don't fit double-stacked. I can always build them and set them somewhere else-- but where.

I know that it looks pretty stark and boring in there, but come on, it's a closet! I didn't figure it would be worth the effort to paint it/decorate it all nice. I'm looking for functionality over anything else.

But I'm realizing that, as a space, 3 x 5 isn't all that big, and I have a lot of high hopes for this little spot. So, all you crafty people out there. I've shown you the beginnings of my little spot. What would you add, or how would you organize stuff to get the most use out of it? I'm thinking I'll add a cork board across the back wall to hang notes/patterns, ideas, etc. on. And that blue thing folded up on the table is a shoe organizer that I can hang on the wall to use for holding little odds and ends and folded up works in progress, etc.

But what I want to know is, what would be your must-have if this were your space to work with. What would make it most user-friendly for you. I'm just a novice sewer, but I'm determined to learn, and want to start doing a whole lot more of it. And knitting, well, the only space that takes up is the yarn storage.

And in case you're wondering, the wheel and fiber is still staying in the living room. It's too lovely to tuck in a closet! :)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


My long-time online friend and all-around good guy, Mike posted a request the other day for everyone to list 10 good things about him. His goal is to place these lists of good qualities into a 'self esteem folder' to refer to from time to time.

Now maybe that sounds sort of corny, or silly, or whatever. But it got me to thinking, how often do we actually take the time to tell people around us something good about themselves? I bet that if you think about it, it's not all that often. We have no problem complaining about things... bad days at work, the price of gas, something that someone screwed up at the office... but do we stop to say things like "You know, you're really good at communicating with clients," or simply, "I love that yellow shirt on you!" Or even just a "You look really nice today."

I'll bet you it's not nearly as often as you find reason to be negative.

And so I'll put this challenge out there to all of you: Make it a point every day to point out to someone something about them that you appreciate. I promise you. When you make their day, I bet, in some small way, you'll make yours better, too.