Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Or what a difference getting out of the house and into Target can make!! LOL I realized that I hadn't been out of the house since Thursday. No wonder I couldnt get myself out of a funk!! So I took the kids and we went to Target. No, the money didnt come in sooner and yes I'm still a bit anxious abt it actually happening, but if a body moves around and actually gets out of the house once in awhile, that can make a BIG difference!!!!

I *did* look at their tangerine lip gloss, but seriously, not for me. However the cherry looked particularly shiny so I put that in the cart. And then it went back on the shelf when the rugrats picked up some rubber balls to play with. Best choice since those balls have kept them VERY occupied!!!

And the other great part of taking the kids with me?? When I got home, the IO said to go into the bedroom, lock the door and he would field all questions from the rugrats! WOOHOO. So I worked a bit more on Too Pooped. Here are my before and after shots for this go around.
What it looked like back in January....

As of yesterday...

I think I'll start working on his body the next go around. Poor thing has been legless for way too long!!

Well my buzzer just went off. My time on the computer is over. See what happens when you need to share a computer with 3 other people?!?!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday Morning Train of Thought

Yesterday was very strange. I kept forgetting that I didnt have to go into the office today and I kept getting these waves of discouragement I normally get on the night before going back to work. I start a project but because life is busy, I never get that far into it and by the time I can pick it up again, its worse than when I left it ~or~ I end up putting away everything I got started on which kind of puts me back to zero.

But I didnt have to do that yesterday. And it felt strange. I'm not as happy as I thought I'd be. Now before we go any further, I am SO happy that I'm not going back to The Office for at least the summer, but I've been going in to this particular office for 1.5 years. It doesnt sound long, but the fact that I started working at The Office when #1 Son was in 1st grade and he just finished 2nd makes it feel much longer than it actually was. Plus one of the irons that the Insane One has in the fire should break by the end of this week. It will make up for my lost salary plus get us caught up on bills. I should be happy right?

And I *am*. But I think the problem is that I'm in limbo. I need to do a MAJOR grocery shopping, I want to have an end of the school year party for the kids, and I need to pay some bills. But I can't do any of this until Friday. Plus this house has gone downhill since last Oct and there is so much that I want to do. So I'm also overwhelmed as to where I want to start. Overwhelmed and in limbo. Not a great combination.

But come Friday.....Friday you will find me at Target for some Retail Therapy!! I think I'll buy some new dish towels for the kitchen. A transitional cheap and easy fix! And maybe some tangerine lip gloss so I can open the door.*

Meanwhile I knit and stitch.

And start new projects.

I've cast on for 2 more projects over the wknd. I'm really not loving the Euroflax. I feel like I'm knitting with string. It's very stiff and it hurts my hands after awhile. But I've seen the final product and since it washes and blocks out very nicely, I will continue. As long as I do a repeat a day (4 rows), I'll get that lacy stole done. But since I only had that on the needles, I cast on for a dress for Baby Girl with some Berroco Pronto. Ok this stuff is NICE! Its a cotton/acrylic blend and feels like fleece fabric. Very soft and even though it's a worsted weight thickness, it feels so much lighter than that. I'd love to do a sweater for me in it, but alas, like all good yarns I find, its discontinued. So I will enjoy what I have. Here it is in all its beginning glory. A seed stitch border with a stockinette skirt.

I also cast on for another shelter blanket. I found a box FULL of acrylics that was given to me and it got me itching to use some of it up. Here it is, also in an infant stage.

I've also worked on the stole and Too Pooped over the wknd but the stole is only 2 repeats longer than the last picture and I'm waiting until I'm ready to switch Too Pooped out before I post a picture.

*That Geico commercial makes me laugh EVERY time! And its a running joke between me and the IO.
**Also I don't feel as bad as the above post reads. I'm ready to transition into my new *job* TODAY, not wait until Friday. Isnt that what women who don't work do?? Shop and put on Tangerine Lip Gloss????

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday Sky

It took me a day, but my body finally realized that school/work/ballet and all the responsibilities that go along with it all are over and it responded accordingly. I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck. Oh and did I mention that it was 11:45 by the time I woke up?? The insane one took the kids out and about after lunch, and guess what I did? I watched one show and then proceeded to take a 3 hour nap. It's abt 10:30 at night now and while I feel better than I have all day, I can tell you that I'll be going back to sleep shortly.

With all the sleeping going on today I completely forgot abt the sky. Which explains this picture.

You can barely see the colors in the sky from the sun going down. Oh well, the sun was not my friend today so I guess I needed it to be dark before I could rise. I'll start to worry if I grow fangs and crave blood.......

Believe it or not, I *did* actually finish something today!!

I was SO close to finishing it last night, I literally only needed one more strand to finish the backstitching and to sign it. But I was tired and figured I'd finish it this wknd. It's the most I did all day. I measured the final piece and I think I'm going to sew some fabric around it to frame it (since I added the posts, I'm no longer centered) and then I'll stuff it slightly, add a ribbon and hang it in the laundry room. I also have to find a frame for my Smile piece as well. A 3x3 frame is not easily accessable and will require a special trip to the bigger Michael's or JoAnn's a few towns over.

Meanwhile I need to find another small one to start. I really like the fact that I've finished 2 cross stitch projects in such a short period of time. And I also think its time to pull out Too Pooped. I can relate to him a lot these days....

Friday, May 25, 2007

There's a New Sheriff in Town

She's packing sharp pointy needles and she's not afraid to use them!!

It's official. Summer has started. It's already been a crazy day and its only 12:30! HOWEVER, I still am happy to be home. I can now focus my attention on the house, both inside and outside. I can start experimenting with meals instead of using the same 4 over and over. I can get some projects done. And quite honestly, the Insane One is releaved. He would SO rather me be at home. It makes his life easier. Now when he comes home, he can crash. Oh, don't get me wrong, he STILL will have his responsibilities, but he wont have to think abt what they are. Plus now that I"m home, I can plan special projects just for him! LOL

I'm very capable of running an office with people under me (been there, done that), but right now, I want to be home with the kids (remind me I said this come Aug when we are ALL ready to go back to school) and play in my yard and in my kitchen and in my craft room. I've been on the fast track long enough and I'm glad to get off.

Since yesterday was everybody's last day, it wouldn't be official unless I took pictures.
Here is the first day of school followed by the last day of school

I dont notice as much of a difference in #1 Son as I do with Baby Girl. It's amazing how much they can change in 9 months.

Now to update on some projects. Here is my current cross stitch one, the laundry.

All I have left to do is back stitch and add french knots. There isnt that much left and I plan on working on it thruout the day so hopefully I'll get a lot done. I'm making it a bit different, Doodle Head did the same project and added posts to hers. I loved that!! So I am going to use the same idea and add the posts. I wouldn't have thought abt it until I saw it, and now I like the posts SO much better than the original design. Thanks Doodle Head for the great idea!!

Knitwise, I started a wrap for myself from a kit that I bought at my LYS when she was having her summer sale last July(ish). I'm using the Euroflax yarn and I'm still not sure what to think abt it. Here is a picture of what I've done so far.

I need to make 81 repeats to make the wrap long enough and I'm on repeat #4. My goal is to complete one repeat a day. This way, even if I only do one repeat a day, I will have this done by August. Not exactly wrap wearing weather, but it will be ready to go when I need it. I also found out that a friend of mine is pregnant with a girl and is due in the fall. She lives in Louisiana so she wont need anything too heavy, but I see socks being a needed item and possibly a sweater. Not sure yet, will have to think abt it some more........

Uh oh....With her being home, does that mean we'll actually have to BEHAVE during the day now?!?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Three days and counting!!!

Well the last Monday of work/school is over! Three days left for me and the kids! I am SOO ready for it all to be over. They finally decided who will take over for me when I leave, it is the guy that I replaced over a year ago. However he hasnt touched a computer since he left so re-training is a bit of a challenge. He doesn't remember a lot of it, plus we've made some changes since I took over the position. And we only get four 2 hour days to train. Oh well, I'm not happy with it, but it's not my problem come Thursday afternoon.

On a more productive note, I've finished off two projects. First one is Baby Girl's tank.

Here is a close up picture of the yarn.

It's amazing to me how Baby Girl and I have different tastes. I started with the pink (something we both agreed on). That yarn is the Fantasy Naturalle in pink, a mercerized cotton. I really liked working with this yarn. However I ran out. This was some of the yarn I bought at the quilt show and they only had 1 skein of each so I bought the pink and a variegated pink/yellow/orange. Only Baby Girl didnt like the variegated. She liked the black and teal that she picked out from my LYS during their dollar days sale. It's a Tahki Cotton Dot yarn, also 100% mercerized cotton, but not as nice to work with as the Fantasy Naturale. I didn't think it matched, but after the 5th time of asking her, are you SURE you like it, and her repeatedly saying Yes, I knit up the rest of the tank. And then I ran out of yarn. Again! I still needed to do the straps. I did a stash dive because I knew I had some black cotton yarn somewhere in the pile. aHa!! It was part of that $1 yarn from my LYS, 98%cotton, 2% elastic (very similar to Cascade Fixation) and worked perfectly. I used that for the underarms and straps. Considering I used 3 different yarns with 2 different gauges, it really all came together quite nicely. Now that its finished, I have to say I don't dislike it as much as I did when I first started. The plain black seems to have tied it in well with the pink. The best part? Baby Girl LOVES it and wore it to school today. I now have people asking for their own tanks!! I then offer to teach them, but I never seem to have any takers......

This tank used the pattern from the Knitting A Day calendar, June 15, 2006. If I did this again, I would add seed stitch to the bottom of it. It would tie in well with the top of the tank and the straps that are done in seed stitch. Plus it wouldnt roll as much as it is. It took me 7 days to complete.

I finished it off while watching Anne of Green Gables, the Continuing Story (MUCH darker than the first two), and then cast on for a scarf in fun fur. It's a JoAnn's brand of novelty yarn in purple that I bought a couple of years ago. I cast on 15 stitches on size 17 needles (did NOT like using needles that big!) and finished it off last night (it took me two hours to complete). This one is for #1 Son to play with. They like to use scarves for dress up so this works well going into the summer.

I may not have liked the yarn that much, but I DO enjoy seeing my work enjoyed and used.

I now have nothing on the needles (that I want to do) and need to decide what to start next....... I'm sure I'll cast on for something soon, I'm thinking another pair of Magic 28 socks. Those go QUICK!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Memes and Skies

Sandi tagged me for a meme where I post 8 random things abt me. I'm also supposed to post the rules of the meme before I start and tag 8 people at the end of it. Well I'm not going to do either of those. If you want to play, consider yourself tagged.

1. I tend to bend rules. LOL

2. I didn't learn how to ride a two wheeler until I was 9. I couldnt get the balance and was afraid I'd fall and hurt myself.

3. I was born and raised in Miami. You would think that would make me a southern girl, but anything south of Palm Beach is either Southern NY or North Cuba.

4. I didnt see snow for the first time until I was 13.

5. The first time I went snow skiing I fell, torn cartiledge in my knee and ended up having surgery.

6. I had skin cancer when I was 22 and lived to tell abt it.

7. The only time I left the country was when I was 11 when we went to Puerto Rico.

8. I do not own a passport.

There you have it. More info abt me than you really cared to know.

Here is my sky.

I have to say we are having some really nice weather. Its only 79 and its almost noon. AND its at the end of May. Usually by now its so much hotter. We also have a wind advisory for small crafts. I dont own a boat so those wind advisories make me happy!!

Hope everybody has a great wknd!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

In the Beginning

I've always been somewhat creatively inclined. Growing up my best friend's dad's friend owned a hobby store and occasionally would give us model houses to put together. (I learned the meaning of Use Glue Sparingly). One of my favorite things in Art Class in elementary school was when we got to made a loom and do a weaving. I dont have that weaving anymore, but I do still have the weaving I made when I was abt 14. In 6th grade we got to spell our names out in hyroglyphics and stitch it out on linen (I think I still have that one as well).

Then it happened. In 9th grade I was put in Home Ec. The patchwork pillow I made wasn't too bad, but the dress. OMG that dress. It was a VERY simple, 2 paneled dress, the front panel and the back panel. That's IT. It had spaghetti straps and an elastic waist band. I was one of the first to start and one of the last to finish. I made SO many mistakes on that dress!! I ripped out more often than I care to remember. Give me a complex Algebraic problem and I'd have no problem solving it, but why couldnt I sew a straight seam?!?!

I got an A in the class, but I got rid of the dress. Along with the desire of ever sewing again.

I gave up the fiber arts and went to paper. I scrapbooked before it was popular. I used wrapping paper and pretty stationary to make my albums pretty. I cut out pictures from magazines and made 2 huge collages. It wasnt until I was married and living in NY that I picked up a needle again.

My sister in law was BIG into cross stitch. For our anniversary, she stitched us a nice saying with pretty ivy trim. I loved it! And it looked like something I might like to try... It was the beginning of 1989 and I was itching to scratch my creative itch.

I got a thing in the mail for a free cross stitch magazine and sent away for it. I was SO excited to get it!! However it was just the charts. Where are the supplies?? For some reason I thought it was a kit, not just a magazine.

I was down but not out yet. I went to a Five and Dime store (remember those?) and they sold cross stitch kits! WOOHOO!! I took it back to work to show my friend and she told me I got the wrong one! It wasnt stamped and this counted stuff was going to make me nuts. Well stamped may be fine for some things, but I so prefered the look of the counted.

I took it home.

After my experience with that !@#$ dress, I was VERY nervous abt this kit, but I was more stubborn, uh, DETERMINED, than nervous. And guess what?? I DID IT!!!! It took me 5 days but on Sept 24, 1989 I finished my very first cross stitch project.

And I still have it.

I LOVED it, but it was very stressful for me. I can't sew, what was I thinking??? But I still had that magazine. There were beautiful projects in there that I wanted to do. So in January I went back to that five and dime and got another kit.

I had alot of fun with that one and knew I was ready to move on to my magazine. It was the Premiere Issue of For the Love Of Cross Stitch. And my next project was done a month later.

I have been using this one particular magazine on and off since 1990. I've done over 1/2 of the charts in it. In fact my latest project is out of it.

I'm hoping to have it done and hanging in my laundry room by this wknd. It amazes me with the amount of stash I have, how I can still go back to this magazine from almost 20 years ago and still find something I'd want to do out of it.

I'm still knitting as well and am making progress on Baby Girl's Tank

And once summer break starts next week, I'm hoping to break out the sewing machine and start making some A-line dresses for Baby Girl and some shorts for #1 Son.

Maybe one day I'll make another !@#$% dress for me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Kitty Thursday

I think I'll take a bath....

Wait, somebody is watching me.

I am shy. Please, look away.

PLEASE! I do NOT wish to be photographed!!

!@#$% Paparazzi!!!!

Fine. Let's see how many of THIS shot will sell.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday Update

We made it thru!! What a wknd, but what fun we had. My little ballerina butterfly was great! I was a little nervous during the run thru, but she nailed it during the show. Here she is afterward still in costume.

And the back.

She had SO much fun and is quite upset that there won't be any ballet the entire summer. Meanwhile I will enjoy the break! LOL

Knitwise, I have a finish!! My cascade socks are DONE!!

I used size 2dpns instead of size 3 and made them a bit longer in the foot. LOVE them!! I plan on wearing them to work tomorrow. When I finished off the toe today, I checked the date I started them. MARCH 12th! Yikes!! These took me a long time! I'm not the fastest sock knitter, but I usually average a pair in 2 weeks, not 2 MONTHS!

With the socks done, I decided to start a project that wasnt a sock or charity oriented. I cast on for a tank top for Baby Girl.

It's a pattern from that Knit A Day calendar I got back in 2006. I'm using some Fantasy Naturale mercerized cotton yarn and I'm really liking it. Its very smooth to work with and very pliable. The last tank I made for Baby Girl I used Tahki Cotton and that seems a bit heavier than I like. This is a bit airier. Unfortunately I dont have enough to finish the tank so I will see if I have some coordinating yarn from the stash to add to it. All I really need is one more skein of the FN yarn. I'll see what I can come up with.......

I also worked on some cross stitching. I pulled out Queen Ann's Lace and worked on that for a couple of days. Here are my before and after pictures.

For those of you not seeing the progress, I worked on the top left. There is more green than I started out with, but I got sick of working on all that green so I put it away for a bit. Hopefully I'll work on it more often than I have been. I started this thing back in June of 2000. I made some good progress in 2001, but it never saw light of day until 2005. I worked on it twice in 2005, four times in 2006, and this is the first time I worked on it in 2007. It's not hard, but there are a TON of color changes. I may have to pull out another easy one to work on, all 4 cross stitch projects I have going on are BIG!

Until then, I'm going to enjoy that tank.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Smoky Sky

Somebody pass me an oxygen mask. This is what my sky looks like this AM.

However it hasn't stopped the animals from coming out to eat.

I've got some quiet time this AM so I decided to take the opportunity to post. Over all, its been going really well. I did have a slight stroke Friday AM when I got home from the parent/teacher conference (Baby Girl's teacher said she is doing fine, very funny and a pleasure to be around. She's also 95% five y/o, 5% thirty y/o. Tell me something I DONT know!) I stopped at the store to pick up some supplies for the dress rehearsal later that day and when I pull up my driveway, my garage door is wide open and so is the door going into the house. I'm sitting there wondering what to do since I didnt leave the house like that and there is no car in the driveway so its not like the IO was home. I finally decide I'm going to call out from the front lawn to scare anybody off so I can go inside. I have no TIME for this today. Come later to rob me. I'll even show you where the better yarn is hidden. As I'm looking into the house, I see somebody inside! WAIT!! I KNOW that somebody.

Insane One??

The IO comes to the door with #1 Son standing behind him! Apparently they got a flat on the way to school and the donut was flat as well so he was waiting for me to get home to use the spare in my van. It is after 9am. Meanwhile I need to be back at the school for the Mommy and Me Tea by 10:30 AND the IO was picking up the tights Baby Girl needed for her performance later that day.

SIDE STORY: It's taking him all week to pick up these tights. He's been to the shop on Tues (he went too early and they were closed), Wed (they were closed the entire day) AND Thurs (the woman told him that she wasn't done sewing them up yet, come back Friday). Since you dont sew up tights, we figured out he was going to the wrong place. He was going to the costume store ACROSS THE STREET from the dancewear store. ~sigh~

It all worked out in the end, thankfully.

However it explains why I look so tired at the Mommy & Me Tea.

Two more weeks and its all over. I know I'll still be busy with the kids, stay at home moms are still busy, but after the schedule I've been keeping lately, it will still be a slower pace.

Later that day once I got Baby Girl to the community college for her dress rehearsal, there was a LOT of down time. They didn't want all the moms to be hovering in back, but I didnt want to completely leave so I sat in the auditorium and watched them prepare for the show. VERY interesting! It's fun to watch them mark the floor for each group of dancers. As I'm watching them work thru their dance routines, I'm getting nervous for these dancers. It didnt really go that well and it makes you wonder how the performance is going to be. Well it all worked out really well for the dress rehearsal. And I have to say I was really impressed with the level of the performance. I was expecting more of a high school/grade school performance, but since it's an actual dance studio, the dancers were really good. Plus they announced at the beginning that 3 of the girls were accepted to other ballet conservatories to continue their dance. Who knew this was such a good school?? I signed Baby Girl up for next year as well.

You know how special ballet is to me Mommy.

Here she is getting ready. One of the moms was fixing her hair for me. I did it before we left, but apparently I didnt use 1/2 a bottle of spray gel to plaster her hair to her head. I'll be better prepared for today.

I didn't get any of her in her costume, I'll get some of those today.

Like I said before, I had alot of downtime while I watched the performers get ready for the show. I brought a knitting magazine, a knitting catalog and a food magazine. And I knit. And knit. And knit! And I"m STILL not done with my fixation sock!!! But I'm close. I have abt another inch to go before I can start the decreases for the toe. I should get close today during the downtime from when I drop Meghan off and to when the performance starts.

I did finish up these socks a couple of days ago.

I used the Magic 28 numbers to make it and it worked up pretty quick. I think that's why the fixation sock feels like its taking so long. The Magic 28 sock had only 28 stitches on size 5 needles. I did both socks in 4 days. These socks are the last of the pile that I'm sending to A4A. I have the package all set to go and I REALLY wanted to get to the post office before Monday since that's the day of the increase. At this point, I'm paying the new rates.

Here's what I'm sending off to A4A. It pays to let things pile up before sending them out!

Ok now I'm off to repack Baby Girl's backpack and to start getting ready. The life of a ballerina is tiring, but the life of the ballerina's assistant is exhausting!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cough Cough ~~sputter~~

Living in the south can be very nice. However, right now is NOT that time. Between the fires in South GA and North Fl, and the brush fires 20 miles and 30 miles away, certain times of the day are VERY smoky. It's not as bad as those areas near the fires, but the winds have been blowing smoke from all the fires our way (yes, including the ones in GA). We were all excited abt Sub-tropical storm Andrea, hoping it would dump some rain on us. Well she's close, but not close enough.....

Here's hoping we get some SAFE tropical weather coming our way, and SOON!

Tomorrow and Saturday will be crazy. Tomorrow I have a parent/teacher conference, a Mommy & Me Tea with Baby Girl, shopping for last minute ballet stuff, and then having the dress rehearsal for Hansel & Gretel. Saturday is the main performance. Baby Girl is SO excited!! She is a butterfly and the costumes are gorgeous. AND she gets to wear makeup!! A girly-girl's dream!!

In amongst all this madness, I did finish the animal shelter afghan.

It came out pretty big. To give you an idea of its size, here is Baby Girl next to it.

I've been working on this blanket on and off for the past 2 months. I cast on 108 stitches on size 10.5 circular needles, used 12 different skeins of acrylic yarn (used up 10 of those skeins), and the finished size is 34"wx28"h. It came out pretty decent, but I dont think I'd make one that big again. If I'm going to go that big in size, I'll stick to sewing. But I will eventually make another one, probably around the same size as the first one I did (26x20.5).

All that I have on the needles now are two socks, the blue charity socks (I'm at the heel of sock #2) and the yellow/green fixation socks (on the foot of sock #2). I will be staying at the dress rehearsal tomorrow night so I should get a lot done while there.

No time for Saturday Sky or Friday Eye Candy this week so here is Kitty Thursday.

Dinnertime Love......

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Morning Update

This was our temp on Thursday at 5:30. It was HOT!!! But then a front went thru and right now it is 72 degrees at 12:42. UNBELIEVEABLE!!! There is a system off the coast of the US near NC that is headed this way. Because of all the wind from the front that rolled thru and this system coming this way, we are getting a lot of beach erosion, esp in Daytona Beach. That's the unfortunate thing abt storms, we DESPERATELY need the rain, but the rains bring the wind and waves which tear apart the beaches. But without the rains, we have brush fires. We really can't win.

All I know is that today is gorgeous and I"m going to enjoy it.

I do have some knitting to report. I finished a sweater for A4A. They've extended their deadline until the end of May so I should be able to finish one more sock. I finished one last week and cast on for the 2nd one, but havent really worked on it since. I did finish a baby sweater for them. It looks SO small but I know it will fit a newborn.

Again, I'm not thrilled abt my finishing skills, but I figure if I make enough of the baby sweaters and practice my seaming, by the time I make a sweater for me, I'll be pretty good at it. This pattern is from a Debbie Bliss book, and I used some of my $1 wool. It's Germaintown and pretty nice to work with. The pattern was easy, a typical boat neck sweater, definitely one I'll use again.

I've also been taking pics of some of the things blooming in our yard. Like I said, its been HOT and a lot of our summer flowers are beginning to pop up.

Our magnolia tree is starting to bloom.

They smell heavenly!!

Some of my flowers work for Project Spectrum as well.We've got some lantana.

This is from our mimosa tree. The flowers remind me of fireworks.

And the black eyed susans are still going strong.

This is Teacher Appreciation week at Baby Girl's school and they will be cut and given to Baby Girl's teacher and aide. The IO will either just cut the rest down or attempt to move it to another location.

It's a perfect day to go for a drive!