January 2011


I had a rough week.  We had a death in our circle of friends.  Those kinds of weeks are never fun. Despite the sadness this week, there has been lots of good. That is what I am focusing on today.

From January 2011 Pictures

1. I got to hang out with Lo today.  He needed new shoes, so we went shopping together.  We talked about school, his friends, how farts are made, and what he wants to be when he grows up. The typical stuff with a 6 year old boy!  He is a great kid!  He loves crafts with a passion!  He has been making woven pot holders, melty bead animals, and all kinds of cards.  He helped me pick out embroidery thread colors today. He begged me to let him sew with me.  I am going to get him a scrap piece of fabric and teach him some basic stitches.

From January 2011 Pictures

2. Wy says the funniest things.  He can’t say “fingers”. He says, “Sing-gers”.  Sometimes they are “singers”.  It makes me giggle. He calls marshmallows “smushmallows”.  He calls fistbumps “piss-pumps” (we have been working on that).  Besides his unique pronunciation, he just lives in his imagination.  He makes me laugh all the time. In the picture above, he is eating his fourth piece of pizza.  If he could, he would eat pizza for every meal!

Cables and Twists in progress

3. I am really loving the Cables and Twists pattern.  We have a lady in our knitting group who is very ill.  We are making a prayer shawl for her.  Each member of our group is making a 8 1/2 x 11 rectangle.  I decided to use this pattern with a larger needle.  It is almost the perfect size.  It is a clever pattern. It looks a lot more complicated that it really is.

Sampler in progress
4. I am also loving embroidery. I have a ganglion cyst on my wrist. It is bothering me for the last two days (I had it surgically removed several years ago. It comes back from time to time, but it doesn’t hit the nerve like it did before). I have not been able to knit or crochet (leaving my square only as done as you see in the picture).  Since I can’t do that, I decided to make a sampler.  I am doing the Spring Sampler from the motifs book I got.  I have only done one color (DMC 907 for those who may wonder).  I am learning all kinds of things (chain stitch, stem stitch, and lazy daisy stitch…all learned yesterday)!  I am just using a scrap piece of linen. I doubt I will do anything with it.  Maybe I will frame it.  Mostly, I just want to be able to practice without having to worry about perfection.

5. My husband is the best. Right now, he is learning how to write Android Apps.  Why would he do that?  Because I want an app that helps me keep track of what colors of embroidery floss I have.  There isn’t anything out there, so he is figuring out how to make me what I want!  That is love!

I have a pretty great life!

1. For some reason, my post from Saturday didn’t post until I logged on tonight.  I don’t really know why.  I must have angered or annoyed the blog in some way.  This is paybacks.  Sorry for a second post in one day!

2. My Christmas tree and outside decorations are still up.

3. Last night I took down the inside decorations.

4. My plan was to take down the tree last night, but discovered that my cats have been peeing all around the base of the tree.

5. I spent the evening cleaning up cat pee.

6. The cats are not sick (they were at the vet last month). They just don’t like Christmas trees. They did this last year.  We thought they wouldn’t this year because last year’s tree was real and this year’s was artificial.  Our vet had suggested the real tree may have confused them and made them think they were outside.  I don’t think so.  The artificial tree didn’t matter apparently.  They are just grinchy.

7. If anyone would like two adult cats who have a tendency to pee on the carpet anytime they get pissed off (pun intended), please let me know.

8. I realize the above won’t really entice anyone to request my cats, but I believe in truth in advertising!

dog cloth

Here is a new puppy for my boys!  It is a baby washcloth that I embroidered!  I am reteaching myself embroidery. When I was small, I did a ton of cross-stitch.  In high school, my mom taught me a bit of traditional hand embroidery. I did a single project and stopped.  Now I am re-learning!

closeup dog cloth

I have been using the videos that Wendy Gratz.  She also has some really great sewing videos!  I also got myself Doodle Stitching and Doodle Stitching: the Motif Collection.  The little dog is from the motif book.  Between the videos and the clear instructions in the book, I found that I picked it back up pretty easily. I need some practice, but I love how the puppy turned out.  My boys are excited to take a bath and use him!  I will say this, using a baby washcloth is not the best idea for a first project. The terry cloth did not like having thread pulled through it.  Many of the loops caught and then left strings.  I think I should have started on some linen or cotton.  It would have been easier (especially learning a split stitch for the first time).  Despite the snags, I still like the little washcloth. I am now looking around my house for things to embroider!

Tabletop iron pad inside/outside I have a really old ironing board. I hate it!  It is large and very squeaky.  I have wanted to replace it, but haven’t really found another that I liked. I have also wanted to set up my spare table to use for cutting, but I don’t have room for both my ironing board and my table.  A few weeks ago, I saw this tutorial for a table top ironing pad.  I knew that I had to make one. It is the perfect solution.
Tabletop iron pad in use
I got a few Jo-Ann’s gift certificates for Christmas.  I used them to get ironing board cover fabric, cotton batting, and Insul-Bright.  Last week, I got some pretty cotton fabric and bias tape. I also got some basting spray.
Tabletop iron pad rolled up
Last night, I finally got a chance to make my ironing pad. It came out very nice. I am really happy with it. I am also happy with the new arrangement of my office.  The table is not in the way that the ironing board was. I can roll up the ironing pad and use the table for other things.  It is perfect for most of my ironing. So handy!

The only modification I made is that I left off the ribbon to tie it.  I didn’t feel it was necessary and didn’t have a ribbon that I liked with it!

Haldecraft soap

This Friday’s favorite thing is a wonderful handmade soap.  I bought this soap on Etsy from Haldecraft.  Haldecraft is a store run by Lorena from Hanks.  I have bought Lorena’s soap before.  I always gave it as a gift or included in swap packages.  Everyone who received it raved about it.  I kept buying more planning to keep it, but it always went to someone else.  Then, she posted on her blog some of her new items.  Those included the soaps in the picture. The firetruck shape caught my eye.  Wy loves firetrucks.  When I clicked on it, the scent name made it something I couldn’t pass on. The scent is “Monkey Farts” (I shudder to think about what kind of searches this blog post will come up under now).  My boys are obsessed with “bathroom humor”.  Monkey farts doesn’t sound appealing, but it is very fruity (banana, strawberry, etc).

I ordered this soap on Sunday (late). It was mailed on Monday, and I got it on Tuesday (really fast shipping…yay!!). The boys took a bath with it that night (and have begged for baths every night since…some nights we have to settle for washing our hands with the soap). They love the shape, the smell, and the fact that they can use the word “fart” repeatedly without getting scolded!

I love that this soap is soft and gentle on my boys’ skin (and maybe mine, but I will not confess to having used firetruck soap in the shower).  I also love that it smells so good. My whole bathroom smells like Monkey Farts (I can’t help myself…my boys are a bad influence)!  I have smelled other scents that Lorena offers, and this is a universal trait. They all smell good! The other thing that makes this soap my favorite thing is that it makes bathtime fun (and even washing their hands).  My boys want to be clean (actually, they want to smell like monkey farts so that they can say that to everyone)!

Since I love this soap so much, I am going to be ordering more for myself (maybe chocolate scented soap…yum)!!

Pedometer

Of course, this is the time when everyone makes all kinds of lifestyle changes and resolutions about weight loss. I promised myself that I wouldn’t do that this year.  That being said, I have made two health related changes.

I have quit soda (again). I had quit soda back at the end of September (not caffeine…I still drink tea and eat chocolate). I stopped having headaches (even hormone induced migraines stopped).  I started drinking it again during the holidays, and I also started to battle headaches again.  So, I have quit drinking soda.  I mostly drink water and tea (I am in the South, so my tea of choice is usually sweet tea).

The other change that I have made is to get a pedometer. I used to always wear one. I am much more active when I wear a pedometer. I have a private competition with myself to up the total number of steps I take everyday.  Without one, I have no motivation to move more.  My old pedometer gave up on me about a year ago. I have been meaning to replace it. I finally did.  I got this one.  My favorite thing is that I can put it in my pocket and it is accurate!  I cannot tell you how much I love that!  It doesn’t have to be on my waistband. That makes me happy.  It is small and very thin, so you can’t tell when I am wearing it with my dress clothes. So, I will be moving and walking more.  I am thinking about doing something fun like Webwalking USA (although I wish there was a nice web version of this similar to the Eowyn Challenge or Walking with Attitude, I am not into Lord of the Rings enough for the first and I don’t want to pay for the second).  So today, my pedometer is my favorite thing!

Progress as of 1/5/11 (75 blocks)

I have reached a Wee Block milestone: 75 blocks!  It is very exciting!  It is getting harder to take photos of the whole blanket.  It was neglected for a long time, but has been charming me lately. I love that it is instant gratification, and means new yarns each time I pick it up.

So, now for the little update on a few of the blocks.  First up is a really big block. It is made out of the leftover yarn from the scarf I made for my niece Shay.  The yarn is Zitron Trekking (XXL).

Yarn from Shay's scarf Next is a yarn that I got in a swap.  The green “camo” yarn.  In one of the Flat Rate Box Swaps, I got a neat project bag crocheted out of this yarn.  The extra was included in the box.  I had to make a square with it.
Yarn from swap partner

The pink and grey yarn is the next special block.  I used it to make a scarf for Aliesha.  The yarn is Spritely Goods Sylph in the Arizona Ironwood colorway.  I loved the scarf, so knitting the block was a fun chance to relive it a bit!
Yarn from Aliesha's scarf

The last picture has two special blocks.  The brightly colored block under the purple block is from the scarf I made for my niece Delani.  I dyed the yarn with Easter Egg dye.  The purple block is also special.  Why?  It is the 75th block!!  I have no idea what yarn this is. It came from a swap on the Blankie Mania board.
75th block and hand dyed blockNow that I have my pretty jar, I have been picking up this blankie more.  The pretty yarn in the jar is just too tempting to resist!!  There will be more updates with that jar there to constantly tempt me to knit a block!

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