Monday, December 29, 2008

Barreling toward the end of 2008

I'm barreling down to the last days of the year. It has been such a great year, and I have so many things to be happy about and grateful for. Moving to a new house, our first grandchild will be here in February, my daughter's engagement. Everyone has jobs and all are in happy relationships. Everyone is well. My parents had a rocky year, but they are well now and independent.
The only thing I could be unhappy about is my weight/fitness. I don't have anyone to blame but myself, although it would be easy to blame my wacky hormones and working nights and the erratic sleeping and eating habits I must have due to working nights. There was still time to work out and time to cook. What was lacking was motivation and discipline. And for those I have no one or thing to blame but my own weak self. I plan to make better choices in 2009.
I'm still working on the resolutions for 2009. I will try to keep them general and concentrate on keeping the stress level down. With a new grandbaby and a wedding to plan, helping my parents and the continued stress of working nights in a stressful job, I feel that I need to keep things simple.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Projects for the last week of the year

I have a few things to finish up, and a few things on the list to start.
I have one mitt to finish up for our friend K, and I want to finish sewing the edging for Hank's blanket. I have three handkerchiefs to embroider for Dearest One, and some yardage to make hankies for the boys. Dearest One asked for a hat, and I will make it in Jared Flood's "Turn a Square" hat, using some lovely oatmeal wool tweed yarn and leftovers from the SWS yarns I used for the Noro fingerless mitts. I also want to start another sweater for the grandbuddy, the Supernatural Stripes by Fawn Pea. I'll use some stashed yarn in woolease--denim for the body, cream tweed and rust tweed for the stripes. I'm not sure I have enough of the denim for the body and buttonbands, so I will play that by ear. I can use the rust tweed, which I have plenty of for those parts. I could use the rust for the body, but worried that it will be too bright. The denim is much more boyish anyway. Mom and Dad have plain and traditional tastes, and I think that combination will please them more.

Merry Xmas!

Our main celebration was Christmas Eve, and was just a lovely, lovely evening. The stockings were very definitely hung by the chimney with care.



There were many lovely gifts exchanged, but the best present of all was that Dearest Daughter was asked by her Beloved to marry him. Hubby and I are thrilled beyond words at this exciting and welcome event. The two of them just glowed all evening, bless them.

Dearest Daughter's Beloved also gave her a Siamese Kitten for Xmas. She is just gorgeous and I can't wait to meet her.

Poor Pregnant One is really suffering with the Discomforts of Pregnancy. Six weeks to go. She and George snuggled on the couch--


while everyone else played dominoes (Mexican Train)




Food was great. We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of lasagna, salad and French bread. My mom brought one of her delicious pecan pies, and we also had ice cream with seasonal toppings of peppermint candy bits, chopped up chocolate bar/peanut butter fudge and nuts. There wasn't a drop, smidge or morsel left.

My Sweet Hubby was a good helper in the kitchen as usual:



Merry Xmas everyone! Hope your holiday is a lovely one filled with peace, love and family!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Year's Resolutions--Step One--Review those Well-Intended Intentions

Feeling more than just a little thoughtful now. I should be working on Xmas gifts and shopping, but sitting here (procrastinating) at 9:30 in the morning in my pj's and robe is a lot more fun.

New Year's Resolutions--Step One--Review those Well-Intended Intentions

New Year’s Resolutions for 2008, or 2008 Well-intended Intentions:

Career/Education
*Read articles from hospital library for one hour per week.
*Read books about breastfeeding and care of newborns.
*Work on improving my Spanish.

Review: I certainly didn't read articles from the hospital library for one hour per week, which I WOULD like to do. I did read about breastfeeding and care of newborns. Prolly an hour per month. I did work on improving my Spanish in fits and starts.
Overall: like the intentions, will keep them all and tweak the plan.


Financial
* Pay down debt—pay down all credit cards to zero.
* Decrease unnecessary spending by evaluating each expenditure as a "need" or "want".
* Increase liquid cash and retirement fund

Review: credit card virtually to zero. Could cut spending more. Stricter budget in process. Saving twice as much, the stock market crash has blown the retirement funds to hell.
Overall: like the intentions, will keep them all and tweak the plan.


Health/Fitness
* Walk two miles a day and lift weights 3x per week.
* Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day and continue to drink eight glasses of water per day.

Review: Only fair at keeping these intentions.
Overall: like the intentions, will keep them all and tweak the plan.Want to add regular yoga and pilates.


Hobbies/Interests
* Build a stash of baby layettes of at least three for the nursery. Begin knitting hats and booties and sweaters and quilts for a charity/charities.
* Knit for Red Scarf Project.
*Continue working on scrapbooks.
* Host regular monthly social events.
-We need to have people over to our house more often. Maybe we can host a Stitch and Bitch, Book Club, Game Day, Movie Night, Investment Club, Walking/Running Club, Socialize with the Dogs, etc.

Review: our volunteers at the hospital really do keep the nursery supplied quite well. Red Scarf Project has gotten too picky and overwhelmed with numbers. Scrapbooks--oh, my, I really haven't paid enough attention to this. Due to not taking pictures, maybe? Or being busy with other stuff? Or just lack of interest? Regular monthly social events--we do have a lot of dinners on Sunday at the house. And everyone is just too busy to get together on a regular basis for other stuff.
Overall: Ditch most of these. Continue with Sunday dinner at the house at least once a month. Think about commitment to scrapbooking. Find out if homeless in our town need knitted hats. Or hats for newborns in underprivileged areas.


Personal/Love Interests
* Continue communication with close friends and family.
* Chip and I are to go on a shopping expedition once a month and purchase one new outfit, from head to toe.

Review: did well on the communicating, at least in increasing the words/time with family and friends. Not so well on the once a month shopping.
Overall: Like the intentions, will keep them and tweak the plan.

Forget that, or I'll get back in the box after New Year's

I was only kidding (myself) when I said I was going to get back in the (S.H.E.) box. NOW I'm thinking that re-starting my super organized way of life during the holidays was a joke. Ri-iii-ght. Especially cuz I got sick and was down with a mild fever and supermalaise. Signs of overdoing it.

Good news? The biopsies on the questionable moles came back benign or almost-benign. I'll have to go back in three months to have them checked again, just to make sure.

Now I'm feeling better. Lucky me. Just in time to go back to work. Lord, it's stressful there. (edited to remove rant about tax-break babies)
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As I was saying. I'm feeling better. Lucky me. Lying around on the sofa or sleeping in the bed got really boring after two days. By the third day I was just angry at being sick. On the third day I redirected my frustrations into some good energy, knitting . I knitted completed three pairs of fingerless mitts. I think I'm finished with all four pair, but must have left one pair at work. If I lost the fourth pair, I'll have to knit another pair. Luckily, I can knit a pair in two nights.

I'm hoping to knit some more of Kristin's Winter Wonder Cloths. Two made, at least one more for a "set" for our dear L.

I finished the wellness (rice) bags (8) for heating in the microwave to lay on achy muscles. This was a really fun project, inspired by the rice heat therapy bag tutorial over at sew, mama, sew. (pictures to come--if we ever get enough picture-taking light--enough with the bad weather!)

I've also started some popcorn bibs for the DH. He's expressed some, okay, a LOT of, interest in popcorn gifts this year, and I thought this would be a cute idea. So, some white terry cloth, cut into a bib shape, a little doubled bias tape for ties, and maybe a little hand-embroidered applique.

Yesterday I had enough energy (hooray!) to sit at the sewing machine. I worked on making handkerchiefs. Today I'm planning to begin the embroidery process. Oooh, wish I had that fancy machine I have had my eye on. Woulda made some cute embroidery touches just like "*that*". But I am looking forward to doing some hand embroidery, haven't done it in years.

AND, I want to finish sewing Grandbuddy's blanket. It's kind of a bore, the machine is so loud I can't listen to music or podcasts. One side down, three sides to go.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Keepin' my head above water

I'm here, though not like I want to be, just trying to keep my head above water. Thanksgiving was totally wonderful. Twenty-something for dinner. Everyone brought something and the food was delicious. Delicious. Seeing everyone was great. Going to work in the middle of it was not so wonderful. Work was good, though. No disasters. Unlike this weekend--baby came out not breathing very well. Thank you Jesus, he turned out okay. Scared the living heck outta me.
I'm knitting and sewing and decorating and baking. I'll report on my days off, see ya then. I'll have pictures, too.
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GOOD HABITS TO HAVE
Get a restful amount of sleep, continually strive to eat well and exercise daily. Participate in life joyfully and freely give of myself to others. Have a plan and follow it.

Daily:

60 minutes exercising, 45 minutes on am routine, 45 minutes for personal care, 15 minutes of weekly zone, 15 minutes of monthly zone, 30 minutes of crafts, 30 minutes of evening routine.


GOOD THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY:
drink tea instead of soda
drink copious amounts of water every day
eat healthy
meditate
lift weights
core work
ride bike
walk dog
garden
knit
sew
read
talk to three people I love today


A.M. Routine
make coffee
unload dishwasher
check laundry
open blinds
hit the hot spots
prep dinner
make lunch and breakfast
take vitamins
meditate fifteen minutes


P.M. Routine
put out hot spots
kitchen: empty trash, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, start dishwasher, check menu plan and see if anything needs to be thawed or prepped
purse: clean out, ready for next day
check calendar for next days activities
set out clothes for tomorrow: exercise and work
brush and floss teeth/skin care


Weekly:
Tuesday: sweep/vacuum/zone (house looks good from holidays, but I will run the vacuum down the middles) Zone work will consist of working on closets as needed. Now that Chris lives with us, I don't need to do the bathroom or guest room.

Weekly Craft:
Tuesday: Knitting Day: start another pair of fingerless mitts. Yes, another pair. I'm cranking them out. Pictures soon.

Monthly Inside:
Zone 5: guest bath/bedroom, weight room, projects room--Weight room is a disaster. All the Xmas boxes came down on Sunday. They are mostly empty, except for tree decorating stuff. Today I'll finish the decorating--fluff the little trees and decorate them for the entry. Everything else is done.

Yearly Zones:
November/December: guest room, projects room.

Miscellaneous: take pictures of the outside of the house and print several copies on typing paper. Work up a plan for lighting, using the lights we have now. Gotta do a little shopping, new shoes for work, grocery, get car cleaned, stuff I missed doing because of work or Tday activities.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday, November 22, 2008

I'll post the "gettin' stuff done" post later.
Look at my beautiful boy.







Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008--Knitting Day

Here's what is on the cards for me today:

GOOD THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY:
drink tea instead of soda
drink copious amounts of water every day
eat healthy

keep a food journal online--oh, geez, I haven't been doing this!
meditate
lift weights
core work
ride bike
walk dog
garden
knit

sew
read
talk to three people I love today


A.M. Routine

1. make coffee

2. unload dishwasher

3. check laundry

4. open blinds

5. hit the hot spots

6. prep dinner

7. make lunch and breakfast

8. take vitamins

9. meditate fifteen minutes


P.M. Routine

1. put out hot spots
2. Kitchen:

Empty trash

Shine sink

Lay out clean dishcloths

Start dishwasher

Check menu plan and see if anything needs to be thawed, prepped

3. Purse and bag: clean out, ready for next day
4. Check calendar for next days activities
5. Set out clothes for tomorrow: exercise and work
6. Brush and floss teeth/skin care



Weekly: I haven't done Monday's stuff so I am leaving it on here "to do"

Monday: Dust/mirrors/doors/zone

Tuesday: sweep/vacuum/zone

Weekly Craft: Tuesday: Knitting Day

Zone Work: kitchen, pantry, laundry room--so far I have cleaned the pantry today.
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As today is Knitting Day, I took pictures of all the projects I have on the needles and some of the things I have finished recently.

First, the Finished Objects:
A sweater for Hank, heavily modified from this pattern:

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A little neckwarmer, my own pattern, using a partial skein of a beautiful handpaint:

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A pair of snowman mittens:

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And a beret, which got away from me before I could photograph it!
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And, now for the projects in progress:

Some form of the Elizabethan Jacket, or vest, may change the pattern, well, anyway, it's the inspiration for "something":

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The man's socks, from the Lion Brand striped socks pattern, heavily modified by me:

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A bunch of fingerless mitts:
Here is one in progress:


And more yarn to make more fingerless mitts--and what a bargain--the yarn was on sale (SWS) for $1.50 a skein. Each skein makes a pair of mitts. And just a few hours to knit each pair.

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And Kristen Patay's "Winter Wonder Cloths", of which I have finished one, but plan to make all of them, maybe multiples. They are soooo cute!

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Baby Surprise Jacket:

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I also updated my Ravelry projects.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Real Life

Real life is not always getting to do the things you want to do because you have to go to WORK! Yesterday there was not a post because I had a rip-roaring night in NICU, and was too pooped to do anything but go to bed. I slept ALLLL day, and had just enough time to shower before the family came over for dinner. Hubby made the most excellent spaghetti. I just ate and enjoyed my wonderful family, both equally as much, before running off to work. So no, nothing got done around the house. I took care of myself and hubby took care of everything around the house--GASP!--he even did some laundry, bless him!
Last night I was in charge, and oh, it was nice and smoothly quiet the first few hours, but from 10 pm to change of shift, things were VERY busy. I hardly sat down for ten hours. God bless my coworkers for helping out or I never would have finished. As it was it was 830 before I left.
Our youngest son moved to our house this weekend. It's only for a few months while he saves money to buy a house and we are not only glad to have him around but also glad to be able to help him. He is such a sweet and entertaining person to have around. Unfortunately, the house is in a bit of disarray, we'll have to have some kind of a system for organization in the refrigerator; I was quite dismayed when I looked in there this morning. The garage, my cra(P)ft room, the weight room and the guest room are in various stages of chaos. Hopefully we will all work together tonight and get things in order.
After I sleep today, I intend to try to make up for Sunday and also do Monday's chores.

A.M. Routine

1. make coffee

2. unload dishwasher

3. check laundry

4. open blinds

5. hit the hot spots

6. prep dinner

7. make lunch and breakfast

8. take vitamins

9. meditate fifteen minutes


Zone Cleaning:

Zone 3: kitchen, laundry, pantry--cleaned laundry room except floor

Weekly Cleaning:

Sunday: weekly review/paperwork/family/cooking/trash and recyclables--need to decide what "weekly review" means now. Previously it meant that I went through all loose papers and acted on them, made a list of things to do and decided what projects were to be done the coming up week. Hmm.

Monday: Dust/mirrors/doors

Weekly Craft:

Sunday: Family Day

Monday: Scrapbooking Day, Gardening Day--made a 3x5 card for November gardening chores

Yearly Zone:

November/December: guest room, projects room--hopefully new shelves in projects room closet soon

P.M. Routine

1. put out hot spots
2. Kitchen:

Empty trash

Shine sink

Lay out clean dishcloths

Start dishwasher

Check menu plan and see if anything needs to be thawed, prepped

3. Purse and bag: clean out, ready for next day
4. Check calendar for next days activities
5. Set out clothes for tomorrow: exercise and work
6. Brush and floss teeth/skin care


I have bolded the things I will do, and I will update later today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday, November 15

Now that I've been doing this for a few days, I can see some ways to improve. I am going to write down all that I intend to do in the morning and in the evening I will "bold" the things I accomplished during the day.
So here is what is on the 3x5 cards for today:

GOOD THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY:

drink tea instead of soda
drink copious amounts of water every day
eat healthy
keep a food journal online
meditate

lift weights
core work
ride bike
walk dog
garden
knit
sew
read
talk to three people I love today


A.M. Routine
1. make coffee
2. unload dishwasher
3. check laundry
4. open blinds
5. hit the hot spots
6. prep dinner
7. make lunch and breakfast and snacks
8. take vitamins
9. meditate fifteen minutes
10. update blog


P.M. Routine
1. put out hot spots
2. kitchen: Empty trash, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, start dishwasher,
check menu plan and see if anything needs to be thawed, prepped
3. purse and bag: clean out, ready for next day
4. check calendar for next days activities
5. set out clothes for tomorrow: exercise and work
6. brush and floss teeth/skin care
7. update blog


Weekly (Saturday)
clean bedside table, makeup drawer, purse, car (not clean-clean, just pickup trash and put stuff away), run errands, laundry

Weekly Craft

Food

Zone 2: (ongoing) Entrance, coat closet, office, dining room

1. clear off surfaces, put items that are not in their place away
2. straighten one drawer/cabinet at a time
3. clean closet
4. clean cobwebs
5. clean glass, mirrors, light fixtures and windows
6. clean walls, woodwork
7. vacuum whole room
8. damp wipe all geegaws
9. polish furniture
10. clean floor
11. make list of items needed/decorate for the season
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Since it is FOOD DAY, I'm focusing not only on the regular food day stuff such as make a menu plan and shop for groceries, but I'm going to focus on improving my nutrition.
I've been meaning to post online everything I eat during the day, ugh. So that will be an ongoing and personal examination which I'll post on "My Best Health" blog. (Did I say ugh? I mean it.)

Friday, November 14

Forgot to post.
Here's what was on the cards for Friday.
WORK
GOOD THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY: drink tea instead of soda, drink copious amounts of filtered water, eat healthy, knit, read. (list is short because I slept most of the day, since I worked last night. I'd love to improve that!)
AM routine: even though I came home and slept, I still did my A.M. routine but did most of it when I woke up.
Weekly cleaning: catch up
Weekly craft: Clean out purse and car
Zone Cleaning: entrance, dining, office, coat closet
P.M. Routine: I hardly even did a bit of this, too tired from work to even think about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 13

Staying "in the box": (i.e., trying to stay organized in my life)
Only worked half a shift last night, sleep disturbed and with lots of waking/sleeping periods. A nap is in order before work tonight.
Today is Thursday, so it is a PERSONAL DAY. That means any health/beauty issues are addressed today. Manicure, pedicure, shaving my legs kinds of things. Listening to beautiful music and enjoying the beautiful day. Eating clean foods. Taking a nice long soaking bath.
So today here is what is on the list:
From Good Things to Do Every Day: drink tea, drink copious amounts of water, eat healthy, corework, ride bike, walk dog, knit(on various projects--mittens, fingerless mittens, Baby Surprise Jacket), sew(hem Grandbuddy's blanket), meditate.
Weekly cleaning: baths
Zone Cleaning: 15-30 minutes of cleaning in the entrance, dining, office and coat closet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday, November 12

I'm making an attempt to "get back in the box", a reference to the Slob Sisters method of doing housework. At one time I had little 3x5 file card box with very detailed systems for keeping up with housework, gardening, gifting, and crafting. I then used the Flylady system and dumped the box. I loved the daily emails and constant motivation she provided for many years. I decided recently that my motivation needs to come from within. And I know "the box" works, it certainly has in the past. The coolest thing about "the box" is that I can do it at my own pace, and if something doesn't get done today, I have the option to move it to the next day, with the idea that it will eventually get done. With my crazy work schedule, this is particularly good. No guilt.
I went to the local office store and purchased a bunch of 3x5 cards, tabbed dividers and a card box. Unfortunately, all they had was a ridiculous looking camouflage box, but now that I have it at home, it seems very, um, purposeful. Conducive to work, or war on housework or something.
Yesterday I put the box together, using my all ready printed worksheets, that I've refined over many years (and will continue to refine for our new house) and so

Here is what I have on the cards for today:

WORK--so that means I need to take a lovely nap later today, and iron my uniform.
Then I have my "GOOD THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY": drink tea instead of soda, drink copious amounts of filtered water, eat healthy, lift weights, core work, ride bike, walk dog, garden, knit, sew, read.
Next is my A.M. routine: make coffee, unload and reload dishwasher, check laundry, open blinds, hit the hot spots, prep dinner, make lunch and breakfast, take vitamins and meditate fifteen minutes.
Next is the list of craft for the day: today is sewing day and anti-procrastination day.
Then the cleaning list: today is laundry and mop day.
My cleaning zone this week is entrance, dining, office and coat closet.
Finally is the card with my P.M. routine on it: put out hot spots, empty trash, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, start dishwasher, check menu plan to see if anything needs to be thawed or prepped, clean purse and ready for next day, check calendar (and move cards) for next day's activities, set out clothes for tomorrow, exercise and work, brush and floss teeth and do skin care.

Looking at the list, I want to do the following things today:
find some new meditations on itunes, meditate 15 minutes
hem Hank's blanket
hem jeans and brown slacks (anti-procrastination)
mop until I drop
walk the dog
do a quickie core workout from ondemand
12x12 weights
ride my bike
plant garlic and peas in new bed, weed as needed
have husband try on socks, make foot template
work in cleaning zone for 15-30 minutes
make pizza crust for dinner
iron uniforms (2)(for today and tomorrow)
lovely long lazy nap before work

The cards will stay out as reminders for the things I want to do, with a running list of the things I want to do that are specific to today, such as ironing and the sock work and making pizza crust after the bread is done making in the breadmaker so it will be ready for dinner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meme for me, me

From Posie Gets Cozy, a meme to give one word answers:

Where is your mobile phone? Pocket
Where is your significant other? Work
Your hair color? Salt-and-pepper
Your mother? Grumpy
Your father? Quiet
Your favorite thing? Ladybugs
Your dream last night? Peaceful
Your dream goal? Heaven
The room you're in? Dream-come-true
Your hobby? Knitting
Your fear? Heights
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
Where were you last night? Sofa
What you're not? Cool
One of your wish-list items? Ring
Where you grew up? Home
The last thing you did? Errands
What are you wearing? Jeans
Your TV? Roku
Your pets? Boxer
Your computer? Mac
Your mood? Calm
Missing someone? Husband
Your car? Scion
Something you're not wearing? Socks
Favorite shop? Target
Your summer? Long
Love someone? Passionately
Your favorite color? Sapphire
When is the last time you laughed? Now
When is the last time you cried? Ages

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Energy

I want to start the following projects now.

Now I tell you.

The Elizabethan Jacket by Alice Starmore. Don't ask me why, but this combination of cream, tan and red just turns me on.
And the Winter Wonder Cloths by Kristen Patay. I even bought plenty of blue cotton yarns to add to my cream and tan yarns to make these. Bought the pattern this morning.
And mittens,
mittens, and more mittens (especially made with this). I love mittens. The more mittens, the better. I have plenty of odds and ends to knit mittens, I just need to get going!
I want to sew this gorgeous shawl for myself in black velvet and satin.
And would I ever love to make something like this for myself, but in my colors, lovely blacks and primaries. If only I had had the forethought to buy that gorgeous boucle fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics when there was plenty. Maybe something like this will do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just dropping in

Just dropping in to say I'm still here, not very productive, but here. With close to sixty days left in the year, it just feels like a time to recommit and renew. I've spent the last week or so working on my wardrobe, and oh, what fun that has been. I don't have the nerve to start sewing for myself, but I sure have been looking at fabric and patterns.
I did do a lot of thrift shopping, and that was very rewarding. I bought a beautiful gray tweed blazer and a beautiful red wool flannel blazer and a lovely black wool skirt and an equally lovely gray wool pair of pants.
With a couple of crisp white blouses, a white blouse with black and tan stripes, a red cabled V-neck sweater, a green turtleneck sweater, a black crewneck sweater, a cream crewneck sweater, and some jeans, I feel well prepared for shopping trips and going out for dinner.
Of course I have some other things that will fit into the wardrobe, but those are the basics.
I also purchased some shoes to round out and gussy up my new purchases--black patent leather flats with a flat bow on the toe and a pair of heels, also patent leather that are black at the toe and color meld to a gray at the back of the shoe. Perfect.
I still need to find a dressy blouse, but for right now I have a couple of black sweaters with beading that will do.
For accessories I have the basic silver earrings and bracelet, gold necklace and bracelet and earrings and a few pearl necklaces. Which reminds me that I need some pearl earrings. I also have some scarves to dress up with, but can use some more. And a lovely soft shawl or two to keep me warm. And a black trench coat and a black leather jacket and a cream quilted barn coat. Not to miss the blue jean jacket. I want to make a black velvet/silk stole this year (view E).
For casual clothes, I have jeans and sweats and T's and sweaters and boots and walking/work shoes. I'd love to buy some slouchy boots and a long cardigan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oktoberfest

No, I didn't go to Oktoberfest. But I've been having a fest here in one way or another. Cleaning, cooking, sewing, knitting, reading, listening to podcasts, and enjoying my Netflix selections--it's been fun all the way!

Cleaning: oh, who wants to hear about that. Just sayin', I've been good.

Cooking/Baking: I made a German food dinner and asked some folks over. We did Brats, and used the potato salad included in this recipe, no cabbage; green beans, cucumbers in sour cream, sandwich rolls, rye bread, pickles, several kinds of mustard, German chocolate cake (purchased from the bakery) and a to-die-for Sour Cream Apple Pie from Alicia Paulson at Posie Gets Cozy.

Sewing: not a lot of this, but I sure have had fun LOOKING at my sewing! What I have done is some organizing and getting a physical queue set up on my sewing desk. Hoping to accomplish a lot this week.

Knitting: also not a lot of this going on either, but did do some updating in Ravelry and plan on finishing up the Cabled Boot Socks and make some little socks for the GrandBuddy in honor of Socktoberfest.

Reading: I am nearly finished with Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Very inspiring, not necessarily opened my eyes, but certainly made me more determined to be a locavore. And although I have the DailyLit link up on my blog for "A Tale of Two Cities", the truth is, I have not read.one.word.of.it. Hoping to BE SMART and knit on the Baby Surprise Jacket and read this DAILY. Sheesh. The truth is, I've been cruising around on the internet WA-AY too much. And not doing much of anything else.

Podcasts: I've never talked about my podcasts and my beloved iPod on the blog ever, but this is a huge part of my life. Driving to and from work, cleaning house and walking the dog/exercising--I spend at least eight hours a week listening to podcasts. I would say that right now, "This American Life", "craftmentality", and "Sew Forth Now" are my three favorites.

Netflix: This week I finished watching the first season of Project Runway. Good, good, good. And I am so looking forward to the final Project Runway, Season 5, this week. And reading Project Rungay is the perfect compliment to the show. I have spent my "WA-AY too much time on the internet" due to this show and cruising around looking at designers' shows and shopping for things I will never ever have the money for. But it's been fun. Very fantasy based for me. Seriously time to move forward. Into reality.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy, busy!

I've been busy, busy! Loving my week off, other than spending the first half sick. I'm having so much fun and really moving forward. Fiddled around with this post till I'm, again, sick, and can't make the pics end up in the right place. Ugh.

Knitting

Now that we know that we are going to have a grandBOY, it's been lots of fun finding BOY stuff. I picked this up at Joann's to make in the cardigan as pictured:

I finished these little booties, just am not too happy with the way they turned out. I also have this yarn--Lion Brand Magic Stripes--on the needles in an EZ BSJ.


I cleaned out my car and found this poor little bit of a sock--well, it was to be my car project, just forgot it was there.

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Sewing:

Found some twill on the remnants table.


And this also on the remnant table--a bit of knitted fabric--the black fabric for a pair of pants, both to be made out of this pattern.



Hobby Lobby had a sale on patterns, and I picked up this baby sling pattern to make in this bit of calico and jeans fabric.


I also picked up a darling green/yellow print on the remnant table and a cute lil' pattern to make a top for myself, but neglected to take a picture.

AND, I made a bunch of burp cloths out of white terry cloth and some of the same fabrics I used to make the bibs. Also neglected to take a picture of those.


And, last not definitely not least, I continue to work on the scrap jeans quilt. George loves it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sewing Projects--Home Decorating Fabrics

This is part two of my efforts to catalog all my fabrics so I can SEE what I have in my stash.
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This is a loud plaid fabric, not quite sure I will ever use this, but I do like the colors.

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This is also a loud plaid fabric, a lovely Buchanan plaid, purchased to make holiday linens such as a table runner and napkins.

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This striped Southwest themed fabric has been used for pillows in my house.

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This lovely lineny greige fabric was a large amount of fabric that I purchased back in the 80's and has been made into various things, such as draperies, tablecloths and slipcovers.

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I love toile.

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AND I love cowboys.

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These are some random pieces that seemed to go together. Wouldn't they make some cute purses or pillow? That flowery fabric is probably my favorite fabric of all time. Don't ask me why. Did I say I love toile?

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There are just some scraps of this very French looking fabric, maybe a yard or so. I used it to recover the rocking chair that was in my bedroom when I was growing up. It looks adorable.

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I used this burgundy velvet to cover my dining room chairs.

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This fabric is covering a small ladies' chair in my living room. The chair came to Texas in the 1880's via train as part of my husband's great-grandmother's wedding present.

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And these two fabrics were used to cover the seats of our leather sofa.



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This is a fabric from long, long ago, purchased to use in my daughter's room for curtains or somesuch thing. It is so darling I just couldn't part with it.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Bibs, a blanket, a quilt in the making, and magic stripes

No, I haven't added any more fabric inventory posts, hopefully I will do that tomorrow, but I do have some finished projects. I'll add the pics tomorrow when the battery on my camera is recharged.
SEWING:
I finished some baby items--a three darling bibs and a small blanket made from some remnant Minky.


The bibs were made from a pattern at Nested. The pattern was well-written, easy to follow and very, very cute! I found some fat squares on sale at my local Hobby Lobby in cute boy prints, and bought some double fold tape in coordinating colors. Each bib took about 20 minutes from start to finish.


The Minky blanket was made from a small remnant at my local Joann's. I found some adorable Winne-the-Pooh blanket binding at Joann's, too. I cut two squares from the remnant, and machine-stitched them together in a chevron pattern. The binding application was awkward, but it turned out pretty durn cute.
Next on the sewing table:
I am really trying to make a dent in the fabric stash, and toward that end I pulled out each sorted-by-color bag of fabric and pulled out yellow-golds, rusts, blues and some interim pieces. The only requirement was that they had to be at least 4.5 inches wide so that I could use Amy's (Amy Butler) Lotus Brick Path Quilt free pattern.
I bought some white terry cloth to make some burp cloths, and I will use the rest of the fat squares to embellish them.


I also bought some white felt to line the Michele Quigley (of "On Pins and Needles") baby shoes I plan to make (with more stash fabric).
And finally I purchased a small piece of forest green gingham to make into a shirt to go with the little EZ (Elizabeth Zimmerman) baby sweater I finished this week.
Which leads me to . . .
KNITTING



I finished the little EZ baby sweater. This is about the fourth time that I have knitted this pattern, and it is a quick and easy knit. (Well, okay, my menopausal and stressed brain has had a hard time with most everything the last few weeks, and I spent a LOT of time reworking it this time, but it is USUALLY an easy knit.) It blocked out a lot bigger than I expected, but babies grow. I am sure this sweater was "meant" to be knitted in this yarn, as I had about ten feet left when I finished.

Next on the knitting needles--

This will prob-a-bly be an EZ Baby Surprise jacket. I picked up a couple of skeins of "Magic Stripes" for $1.50 a skein from Big Lots a few months ago and it has the perfect boy colors--red,navy,denim, white and brown. I've been wanting to knit this yarn as well as the BSJ and I think they will make a good combination.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sewing Projects--Working from Stash

Last week I took pictures of all my sewing fabrics.
This week I'm going to try to catalogue all.
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APPAREL FABRICS:
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These two pieces of fabric will make adorable baby clothes. Originally I bought this pattern to make some sunsuits, but now I am thinking they will be cute little boy suits--a little shirt and shorts.
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This set of fabrics will make an adorable smocked dress. I threw in all the laces just in case I wanted to really dress it up.
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For another smocked dress.
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A boring black broadcloth, enough for a skirt.
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I love love love this plaid, and can't wait to make it in this shirt pattern.
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I also love this fabric, but the more I look at it, the more I think it would be cute in a little shift dress.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keep on going, or knit on!

When I get all slumpy and just can't seem to move forward, I have a way of dealing with it. And that is just keep on going. I know what normal is for me, so I just act it. I review all the things that I should be doing for my health and pay attention to the things I'm slacking on; pretty soon those depressed feelings abate and I start feeling normal again.
Knitting is the same. If I have a problem, I reassess and then move forward. When I started having problems with both of my current knitting projects, I decided the problem was that the concentration required by two lace projects was more than my overloaded brain could handle at the moment. I decided to concentrate on EZ's baby sweater now, and it will be the only project I work on for now. It is small enough and simple enough to be both my home and purse project. I'm not ready to think about my next project(s) yet.
I messaged all the Allen, Texas knitters I could find on Ravelry, in hopes we could meet for knitting and chatting.
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Organizingmy stash usually tweaks my creative energy. And I needed to add to my Ravelry stash. Since it was fairly well organized anyway, I just ran around the house and gathered up all the yarn that was here, there and everywhere. I organized by yarn weight, putting all the threadweight, laceweight, fingering and cotton yarns in one plastic tub. And then the rest--dk, sportweight, worsted and bulky went into two more plastic tubs, but these were organized by color--neutrals and reds, oranges, yellows in one tub and blues, greens and purples in the other tub.
All in all, it took me a couple of hours--gathering, bagging, replacing in an organized fashion, photographing, uploading photos to Flickr and adding to my stash in Ravelry. I have my stash organized in a different way. I labelled everything by weight; that way, I can easily look to see that I have, in aranweight, a skein each of gold, red, gray and brown.
Most of the time, my creative energy goes wild, but this time, not so. It was just an exercise in organizing.
Just keep on going.
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On the cooking/baking front, I did make some utterly divine oatmeal cookies. The recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. She's amazing, that woman. Do look around her blog.
I also made some whole wheat bread in the bread machine. It is so easy, just dump all the stuff in and turn the machine on. Takes about ten minutes. The recipe came with the machine, and I can't find the recipe online. Nuts.
Last week I made some baked beans for family dinner. Everyone kept on saying, "Mom, ya gotta write this recipe down." I'm not sure I'm remembering everything I put in, cuz I'd worked the night before and was trying to get everything dumped in the crockpot before I went to bed.

Ma's Crockpot Beans

3 large cans of pork and beans
1 large can of crushed pineapple
6 shakes of wooster sauce (worcestershire sauce)
6 shakes of tabasco sauce
one handful of brown sugar
about 1/4 cup of molasses
about 1/3 cup of brown mustard
about a tablespoon of minced garlic
freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 shakes of celery salt

Dump all into the crockpot. Stir. Bake on low for 4-6 hours.
I should have added a cup of chopped onion. Will, next time.
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Sewing, ah, sewing, the long-forgotten love. As I am determined to work from stash, I decided the next thing to finish would be Dear Young Son's denim quilt. It is a patchwork of old jeans, and was abandoned due to the difficulty of working with the heavy materials. I'm determined to work on it each day and have the satisfaction of being able to finish another discarded project.
This weekend Dear Husband and I ran some errands in nearby McKinney and I stopped in at Happiness is Quilting. The shop is small, but well-stocked and well-organized. There is a nice area for classes. The staff was friendly, but not pushy. They were helping another customer, and their advice was helpful and appropriate. I am looking into taking a class with them.
I also found the Allen Quilter's Guild, and although I can't make the meeting this month, I hope to make next month's meeting. Looks like fun.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slumped

Ugh and yuk and slumped. Really slumped.

My poor daddy is dealing with colon cancer; watching him in post-surgical pain is heartbreaking.
Mom and Dad are moving faster and faster toward an assisted living situation. It's so hard to watch them become less and less independent.
I am just so sad for my parents.

I not only can't move forward on my knitting, I am moving backwards at an alarming speed.
I will start over on my Secret of the Stole III. After seeing some other people's stoles, I realized I made a myriad of mistakes and would not be able to correct it. So I tore out all 47 rows. Waah.
The EZ baby sweater also developed poorly and required tinking of about two inches, all of the lace knitting.

The weather has been cool and windy and rainy, due to Hurricane Gustav, causing various aches and pains and a marked decrease in my exercise routine, which of course is contributing even more to my emotional slump.

Gotta get myself up and moving forward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lots of activity

Been pretty busy, trying to stay busy to keep my mind off lots of personal stuff going on.
Tshirt quilt made from old Tshirts provided by DIL to use for grandbaby's quilt. I'm very proud of this because I didn't have to buy ANY-thing--all from stash.

I also picked up some little cross-stitched Xmas ornaments, and finished up all the little bits that needed finishing up.

And look at my Secret of the Stole III--beautiful! And look at those beautiful silver lined aqua beads:


Finally, I'm making progress, slowly, on my EZ baby sweater: