Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Calling All Crocheters!

I need help. I am terrible with color combinations. I would appreciate any help anyone can offer in the area of color combinations for a few ripple afghans. The afghans are for me, my boys and the home in general. I am opting for good old basic ripple afghans because they are colorful and interesting to look at and relatively quick to crochet. What are your favorite color combinations? What color combinations make you happy when you see them all together? I'm not really concerned with whether or not they match anything in my home. These are for comfort, for snuggling under on the couch, in the bed, on the floor watching tv. I just want ideas for color combinations that are pleasing to the eye. Any ideas would be appreciated. Also which ripple afghan pattern is your favorite? I'm not a yarn snob, am perfectly happy using Red Heart, also like Lionbrand too.

I've been working on my granny squares but not much to show. I need to take a picture of the pile of squares I've done to date. Not as many as I would like but slowly making progress. I'm hoping to have enough squares crocheted by June and then I can start sewing them all together.

News From the Workbasket

Not too much news to report other than the ripple afghan wild hair I have at the moment. Lots of creative planning going on but not much actual creating. I'm trying to finish up a cross stitch RR. It's so close. I got caught up in the whirlwind stitching of BOAF's Peace and forgot all about the RR. This is the last round in a RR that was started last year and should have finished up in January. Yep, we're just a tad behind. Mine is still in NY state and the one I'm working on should be on it's way to England by the end of the week. I tried to get creative and change the colors of the rabbits on this piece and that's what set me behind. I do hate the act of frogging. It's a symbol of time that is not very productive. I hate that. From now on I think I'll just stick with the designers preference. My stitching time is so limited these days that the thought of frogging just sucks the energy out of me. My threads, DMC and GAST seem to be knotting up on me big time too. I hate it when it does that. It's like some skeins are just preordained to knot. No matter what you do, how short you cut the lengths of floss for stitching, it knots. I really, really hate that.

Thoughts on Stitching and Crocheting

There are times when I go back to the subject of why I stitch and crochet. Why I want to learn to knit so badly, why I wish I could embrace quilting. I don't mind designing quilts, I don't mind sewing the pieces together by hand and my stars I do love to buy fabric, but I procrastinate when it comes to sitting down and cutting out all those pieces. Yes, I am aware of the miracles of the rotary cutter but I'm old school and trace each piece add the seam allowance so I have a definite sewing line. It takes forever. But I do enjoy the end project. Why bring this up now? Well once again I have to defend my love of needlework, all kinds of needlework to my mom. She thinks I'm some kind of lunatic because I whine when I don't have time to stitch or crochet. She rants for 30 mins about how it's not the most important thing in the world and she just doesn't understand how I can sit for hours doing that "stuff". Hmmm, I actually came from this woman's womb? How did that happen? I don't know why I even bring it up to her. Another sad part to this story is that when my mother comes to visit she gets our bedroom, my stash is hidden in the garage except for whatever projects I'm working on at the time. She would absolutely freak out if she saw all the yarn, cross stitch charts, kits, books, you get the idea that I have. The last time she visited she went on for hours about how much money all the quilting magazines in my bedroom must have cost. I kept telling her, "Momma, most of those were bought back in the 80s and early 90s." They are stacked in a potato and onion bin that normally would be in the kitchen but it has three flip down doors, is dark oak stained and wire front panels and fits in my bedroom. Each section is crammed full of quilting and needlework magazines. I don't know why I didn't take the time to tuck those all in a Rubbermaid bucket and hide them away for the duration of her visit. All I heard was, "I can't believe you waste so much money on these magazines. I just don't know how you can spend the money on them. It's such a waste." Anyway, when I try to tell her why I stitch, why I crochet, why I find comfort in those acts, she just doesn't get it. She doesn't want to "get it" she just wants to bitch about the money I spend on these hobbies. When will I learn to not bring it up any more? Just never mention it? Why do I want her approval? I'm over 40, just barely, but over 40, why do I care whether she approves or not? Why do I want her to "get" me? I stitch because it brings me joy, comfort and peace and when a project is finished I have something really cool for the house that I made myself. ALL BY MYSELF.

Monday, March 28, 2005

What I Did During My Four Day Weekend

I managed to finish this:

Didn't finish much else but did managed to complete Birds of a Feather's Peace. So in a creative sense the weekend was a success. Other than that Easter was pretty dull. My oven isn't functioning, haven't had time to get a repair man out so we had the Easter pizza. DH and I determinded that we have to be the two biggest losers around. Who eats pizza for Easter dinner? I have got to take a day and get this oven fixed. I actually miss baking. I never thought I'd say that but I do. Do you know how many things you have to bake to prepare them for dinner? It never ceases to amaze me. It's just hard to give up a day off and wait around the house for a repair person to show up. But I'm going to have to suck it up and sacrifice a day off to get this thing fixed.

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to drag my sorry butt to work today? I so enjoyed hanging out at home and doing absolutely nothing. NOTHING! I hung out with the kids, watched tv, until I couldn't take the news any more and switched to music, stitched, did some laundry(that never stops), cooked a little, cleaned a teeny tiny bit, and just enjoyed my down time.

Thought I might get a phone call this morning that we couldn't open due to the winds but that is just too much to hope for. It's probably not healthy for me to be hiding out in the house so much either. I need to get out in the world. Yeah, right. The whole job thing is back up in the air again. One decision I've made, after this job comes to an end, I'm going to be an official SAHM again and I will keep the laundry caught up and keep the kitchen floor mopped and I won't take it for granted and I'll be appreciative of the fact that I get to stay home. So I'm planning to hoard up some stash over the next few weeks. I'm going to kit up as much stuff as I can afford. If I'm going to be out of work and poor, at least I'll have something to do. Makes perfect sense right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dear Ryne

Seventeen years ago today you came into my life and changed everything.

You changed my view of the world, every new skill you learned left me in awe.

You've grown into a young man I am so proud of, everyday I can't believe this amazing individual is a part of me. I love you so much.

Happy Birthday!



Friday, March 18, 2005

Two Days!

Due to nasty weather I had Wednesday and Thursday off this week. Does that rock or what? Yes, I'm a wee bit poorer but well rested and mentally prepared to deal with the public at large now. After a while I really get tired of dealing with people on a daily basis. I'm always nice and courteous but they can make me nuts!

Yesterday I had to run errands and pay bills. What a waste of a day off. I did managed to make a few detours. The first one was to JoAnn's and I picked up this:

I believe this might be the second time I've purchased this book but I can't seem to find my original. Now that this copy has been purchased, I'll find the duplicate.

Then I took a way out of my way detour to Micheal's in Destin. I used my 40% off coupon to purchase this:

But the major score of the day was 10 skeins of LionBrand Woolease in Camel for $1 a skein.

They are all the same dyelot too. How cool is that? Now the question is, what in the heck will I do with 10 skeins of Camel Woolease? I have absolutely no clue, but when inspiration hits I now have it on hand. I bought every skein they had. I had to. $1 each is just too good of a deal to pass up.

Now to get through the day at work and get ready for a nice quiet weekend at home. DH is going to watch the NCAA tournament with some friends from work tonight so my weekend is off to a good start, feed the kids, settle everyone down for the night and stitch away the evening. That thought will get me through the day. Actually the thought of stitching the evening away while watching Viggo Mortensen in A Walk on the Moon is what really gets me through the day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Brief Hiatus

Took a break. Nothing to say. Why write when there is nothing to write about? Everything is cool on the job front. Not sure if that's good or bad but I should still be bringing home a paycheck which means I'll be able to pursue my fibery pleasures without worrying about someone going hungry or having to go to school naked. Both good things.

I do not want to work today. It's raining. It's overcast. We will not be busy but due to new hours we open unless there's a tornado warning, high winds or just torrential downpours. I've been praying very hard for torrential downpours but that's just not happening. So I'm going to work unless my phone rings in the next hour or so. My days are longer but I'm only working three days a week at the moment, works for me. The owner decided to start closing at 4 p.m. She got tired of paying people to be there from 4-8p.m. and no customers and the kids just stood around all night talking on their cell phones or sitting in the dining room hanging out with their friends. No working getting accomplished til right at closing and then she got stuck paying them for an extra hour because they waited until then to actually start closing. With these new hours I start closing as soon as I have everything ready to open. I do everything I can to have as little to do at 3:30 as possible. My goal is to get out of there no later than 4:30. I know I whine a lot about it but I do love this job. I'm just going through a phase where nothing makes me happy. Ever been there? Nothing seems to go right, nothing inspires me, just a case of the blahs. I feel overwhelmed at home because even when the family attempts to help they make a bigger mess. Do we not all live in the same house? Doesn't everyone know where they find their socks when I put them away? Why can't they put them in the same place too? Doesn't everyone get tshirts out of their closets? Do I ever fold anything? So why did you fold tshirts when we don't have enough drawers to accomodate them? Why do you all think I hang the damn things up? So now the laundry is all folded on the back of the couch. Sure the kitchen table is now visible but clothes are piled up on the back of the couch and about 40 pairs of socks have gone missing. Wish I was kidding about that but the DH matched up all these socks Saturday while watching the NCAA tournament and they have vanished. No one will own up to where they could be. No one admits to putting them away, hiding them, wearing them. Very frustrating.

The Workbasket

There's absolutely nothing going on there. I haven't had a lot of time to do anything I enjoy because I'm trying to get my housework caught up. I have a lot of projects lined up, I did organize some freebie cross stitch and crochet charts this weekend. Now I just need to put them in folders or binders. I did treat myself to a Brother P-Touch Label maker. It's the PT-65. I've used it once it twice, just to break it in. Made a couple of labels for my binders with crochet charts I printed off the internet and some of my freebie cross stitch charts. I saw the label maker at Office Depot on Friday for $25 but put it back. Then Saturday the DH and I headed over there and he said if I was going to pay $25 for the little label maker I ought to just pay the extra $5 and get the nicer one. So I did. He likes playing with it as much as I do. Yes, we're both pretty dorky. I also bought some new highlighters and some Post-it note pads, some computer stationary, it was buy one get one free at Office Depot. You were supposed to buy two packages of the same kind but one pattern, they only had one package of, so I was able to get two different patterns, go me! I'm slowly getting things organized. I never realized how many free charts I have accumulated. I have one drawer in my stash cabinet that holds my Udder Cream, my stationary, my highlighters, my P-Touch. It's very important I hide the P-Touch, the kids think it's a toy. Not good. So best to store it in my stitching cabinet. They never look in there.
Organizing is a good thing. Maybe once I'm all organized I'll have more stitching/crochet time since I won't always be searching for things.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Holly and Babies

Lynn asked to see a picture of my momma cat Holly. Here is one taken at the same time I took the picture of the babies. Excuse the bloody bedding, it was taken not too long after the birth. From the looks of the bedding the poor girl had a pretty harsh delivery.

Thanks to everyone who commented about the kittens and major thanks for not giving me hell about Holly not being fixed. My 9 yr old's teacher told him I was a very irresponsible pet owner for not having her fixed and letting her get pregnant. This cat was a stray we took in. I'm sorry she got pregnant before I could get her fixed but our PAWS, sorta like the Humane Society, has a waiting list for getting cats and dogs spayed and neutered. The appointments can be up to two months away which Holly's was and she got the preggers gig before I could take her in. She will be fixed as soon as she's finished nursing. I've already got another appt set up. I also have appts set up for Hermoine and Sabrina, here's hoping I can keep the cat orgy at bay before one of them ends up preggers too. These cats are strays. I can't help myself. Someone is tossing out an animal I have to give them a home. I'll have an updated picture of the babies hopefully tomorrow.

What I Did on My Weekend Off

This weekend I managed to finish Lizzie Kate's Welcome All Seasons.

I plan to frame this with two hooks hanging from the bottom of the frame from which I will hang L*K's monthly Flip-It's. I'm going to frame them so that it will be easy to pop them in and out to change the months. The Flip-It frame will have two eyebolts hanging from the top so that I can hang it from the hooks on the bottom of the Welcome All Season's frame. Clear as mud?

Once that was finished I pulled out Birds of a Feather's Peace. Here is a pic of my progress:

Crochet News

I made a couple more granny squares for my wild tropical granny square afghan. Since they are all the same, I'll skip on the pics for the moment.


I'm working hard to get all the stash organized. I don't have a huge stash compared to most. Most of my kitted cross stitch projects fit in one 18 gallon Rubbermaid bucket. Charts, WIP are another story. They are all over the place, spread across another 5 Rubbermaid buckets. I should state that these buckets aren't full. They were an attempt to get organized over the summer or fall, can't remember exactly. So everything in them should go together. Do you want to know what's the most overwhelming part of organizing? It's all my freebie charts. How can one organize a thousand or so freebie cross stitch charts? I got binders, I got sheet protectors, I even bought dividers but after you pull the various holiday charts from the pile do you just organize the rest by designer? Some don't fit into any catergory. It's so overwhelming, I just threw them all into a bucket and walked away.

Then I have tons of cross stitch charts that are piled up in buckets because they don't fit in my hanging file cube. Some are the odd designer, others are things I picked up from clearance bins. This is very, very overwhelming for me. I have got to come up with some sort of system.

My crochet stash is stored fairly well. I found an entertainment center at a yard sale last summer, on the end is this hidden cabinet, for DVDs and video tapes, I have piles of yarn in there. All tucked nicely away. Then *ahem* stored in Micheals and Walmart bags are my Woolease skeins for the Crazy Quilt coverlet out of BH&G's Simply Creative Crochet. Piled on top of my entertainment center are more skeins for shawls I have yet to make. They are but a dream because there isn't enough time in the day for everything I want to do and make.

Speaking of shawls, if you haven't already, head over to Yarngirl and check out Julie's All Season shawl. It's fabulous!

Quilting stash, well we're back to trusty Rubbermaid buckets. Only one for fabric. I don't have much of a quilting stash. I'm going very slow with that addiction. I want all the fabric in the world. Especially batiks. I can't get enough of those. I'm fortunate that I only buy fabric once I get the quilt planned out in my head, then I start buying a yard or two of fabric here and there. I always try to buy at least a yard. Two if I can find it on sale. I figure if I don't use it all for one quilt any leftovers will come in handy for future projects. I'm pretty patient when it comes to collecting supplies for just about any project. I have so many irons in the fire there's always something to work on so I can take my time and kit things up slowly.

Major Cross Stitch Project in the Works

Lynn also asked about the 2ft by 5ft cross stitch project. Two of my more dorky geeky cross stitch friends and I are getting ready to start the new ABC Sampler charts from
The Victoria Sampler Website. A, B, & C have already been released. Yes, they appear to be small but we have decided in our infinite wisdom that we will stitch them all, yes all 24 samplers(24 because X,Y, & Z will all be on the same chart), on one piece of 32ct fabric. We are planning to add family names that coincide with the letters on those charts, and change the A is for, B is for, to words that suit our families, lives, states, country, etc. Some, I'm sure we'll leave as charted but all three of us are making our lists and awaiting the fabric so that we can start gridding it. I hate gridding but this honkin' big project demands it. Better to grid at the start than to frog along the way. Once the fabric is gridded and we get caught up on A,B, &C we think we'll be able to keep up as the next charts are released.

Future Crafty Endeavors

So the plans are as follows:

1)Get into a good routine
2)Crochet at least 4 granny squares a week
3)Pull out the 63 Squares afghan and do more than just look at it and cringe. Crochet one block a month. Once I get into a routine maybe I'll do more than one a month-my hope one a week. The Doodle-blog is really inspiring me to get going on this afghan. Melissa has set goals and is managing to stick to them.
4)Work on Fairy Grandmother aka the Grandhag. This is a long overdue gift. My Mamaw isn't getting any younger.
5)Keep up on the ABC piece once it started. I'm hoping this will be an easy committment.
6) Set aside $1 for every hour I work on the ABC project so I'll have a good start on the framing fees.
7)Try to finish some long term UFOs. Quit procrastinating and work on the darn things. I still love them. I just get so overwhelmed with all my new stuff, they lose a bit of their magic. I'm such a project whore. I love to start new projects. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world. My second favorite feeling is the feeling I get when kitting new projects up. I love seeing the chart, fabric and floss all stored together in their 2 gallon baggie. It's a free, future project waiting to be started when I get that *I have to start something else now* feeling.

What is my third favorite feeling? The feeling you get when there's a package waiting on you from the mailman and it contains stash, cds or books!

Anyway, these goals should be obtainable. *Should be* being the operative words in that statement. I'm probably just excited. I stitched away the weekend, watched movies and didn't do much of anything else. It was one fabulous weekend. The only thing better would have been if I could have spent it with some stitching friends. Then again I'd have talked my head off and not got anything finished.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Kitten Cuteness

Ok, this is more or a less several pics of a pile of kittens but is there anything cuter than a pile of kittens?

The momma cat jumped out the laundry basket long enough to eat so I snapped a few quick pics. They are the sweetest, cutest little things. My Holly is a good momma. She'll let me around the kittens, even pet them but when the boys come around she can't lay on top of the babies fast enough. I've given strict instructions that they are not to touch those babies for any reason. Even I'm staying away as much as possible. It's so hard because I want to just sit and look at them.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

It's Quadruplets!

My cat Holly had four baby kittens today. They are adorable and I'll try to take a pic in the morning. Not sure how good the lighting will be in the bathroom, under the vanity where I have momma and babies safely tucked away.

Could Someone Please Tell Me.....

How in the hell they could hire Jessica Simpson to portray Daisy Duke in the new Dukes of Hazzard movie? This is a slap in the face of every intelligent southern girl. Casting Jessica to portray Daisy is insinuating that Daisy is a bimbo lacking any intelligence whatsoever. Daisy and Uncle Jesse were the ones with the brains on the show. While Daisy may have used her feminine mystique to distract the bad guys she was always smarter than the bad guys.

Yes, I must get a life but this has been bothering me for a while and I had to get it off my chest.

Why does it always rain on my day off?

Why can't it rain on a day I'm supposed to work so I get an extra day off? Why does the weather always work against me instead of with me? Yes, I need the money. It keeps me in yarn, floss, fabric, hooks, hoops, charts, patterns, you get the idea. But I'd really appreciate it if it could rain, I mean come down in buckets, either every Monday morning between the hours of 7am-11am or every Wednesday morning at approximately the same time. Why is this so much to ask? I'm not wanting it to rain every day, just a few hours one or two days a week, these specific days and hours. Come on Mother Nature, work with me, just a little ok?