The. End.

Technically the end is tomorrow, but this will be my farewell to 2009 post. I wish that I could come up with this profound post that will put good thoughts in your heads and your hearts.

The truth is that life has been somewhat lackluster and dull here. No really. The most drama we’ve had here is having to deal with snot nosed teenagers and irresponsible dog owners. That and a cold from hell. I’ve been off balance with a headache, my jaw is tightened up by my TMJ, I have sneezing fits that make my throat sore…

You get the idea.

I’d like to say that the end of the year was wrapped up nice and neat like a gift under the Christmas tree, but the past week has been nothing more than a readjustment to being depressed, ill, and isolated with two children who are always bored.

But there has been good. Honestly.

Like the yummalicious yarn that I received from Sundara. (Even though I need to admit there has been little to no knitting lately. I seem to be on a self imposed break.)

Rogue has been getting bigger and healthier. She knows her “sit” and “stay” commands now. And she still likes to nibble.

And of course, I have plans for 2010. I don’t want to call them Resolutions, as the tradition would go. They are plans. Real plans.

  • I have joined the NaKniSweMoDo group on Ravelry. I plan on having twelve brand new sweaters this year. All handknit for me. (And one for Shawn.)
  • I am participating in round two of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group on Ravelry. I was only able to crank out forty one books this year (my goal was forty eight). In 2010 my plan is to crank out forty five books. I’ll be starting with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
  • I will be starting the Spring semester at College of the Canyons in February.
  • I plan on making me and Shawn a quilt. For us. Only us.
  • I plan on going to the 2010 Ravelry party at Unwind in January. (Last years party was awesome so I can only assume it will be even more so now that Namaste, Kristin Porter and the girls from Manos del Uruguay will be there.)
  • I plan on buying a bike. And using it.
  • I plan on customizing my first Blythe. Linkin and Celeste will stay stock, but Bailey is getting a full makeover.
  • I am going to start taking sewing classes again, hopefully starting in February.

So while so things are coming to an end, some things are going to be a new beginning. And even though the rest of my day is only going to consist of “Golden Girl” reruns, Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup with some Saltines and finishing up “The Abstinence Teacher”, I can’t imagine a better way to end the year.

I hope to see you all here next year!

Til then, party one!

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{ Ten Things I Love }

Time for reflection during the busy rush of the holiday season. The end of the year parties. Presents to wrap. Portraits to photograph. Cookies to bake. For me, the busy time is well received. I have one more “big” Etsy order and then I can focus on me. My family. No more deadlines. No more procrastinating. More time to do the things that I love for myself. More time for reflection.

swsleeve

{1. Having more time to knit. Having time to work on projects that have been buried. This is the cuff of the sleeve for Snow White.}

{2. Art Therapy and beginning my Happiness Project.}

creamcheesecookie

{3. Cream Cheese Cookies, freshly baked.}

{4. An early Christmas gift from Shawn: He is paying for me to take some one on one sewing classes at the local quilt shop. I’m thinking my first project might be this, this, or this.

pc3

{5. Slowly but steadily making way with my first cross stitch project. The boy is done but for a few accents. I’m currently working on the puppy.}

{6. Acquiring a new pair of sweat pants that were originally intended for Shawn. They are uber comfy!}

decbooklist

{7. My December Book list. Most of it is self help on simple living and growth in marriage. Again, more time to reflect.}

{8. Looking towards the future and new beginnings. Along with sewing classes I’m going to be joining a gym – something that should have happened long ago. I am also attending art therapy and have signed up for a mommy and me gymnastics class. In February I will be returning to school to take French 2. Such possibilities!}

smartowls

{9. Some extra soft fleece with cute little owls ready to be made into a blanket. My mother is going to replace a blanket that someone stole -yes, stole- from me a few years ago. One side will be the owls and the other side will be a chocolatey brown flannel. Something to keep me warm and to wrap comfort around me.}

{10. The beginnings of some new projects.}

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Friday Fill In # 103:

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, share your fleece on cold nights.
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, love and live freely.
3. Cold and wet white snow, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, the brightest Northern star.
5. Give freely, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing loudly and from the heart.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies, tomorrow my plans include baking a kitty cat cake and knitting and Sunday, I want to see Scout’s excitement on her second birthday!

Done and Done

I didn’t want to forget to show pictures about the Easy Lap Quilt I made for the Bend The Rules Sewing Swap so I thought today would be a good day to share. For this swap we had to send out enough fabric to make the Lap Quilt from Amy Karol’s book. Once we received the fabric we made the quilt for our partner. I haven’t received mine yet but I can’t complain because I am late. With everything. I’m quite excited to get mine back.

My swap partner sent an array of teal, orange and olive colored fabrics.

easylap1

I picked up a different complimentary fabric for the binding. I didn’t want too much orange or too much teal. I think the olive is perfect.

easylap2

And the backing.

easylap3

So yay! Check it off of my “to do” list.

I have a lot of sewing to do this week and next. My mom, (bless her eye for detail, damn her), saw two mistakes on the purple quilt! I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed. But I had to take it out and now I have to redo two panels. It’s not really hard, just time consuming. But I am confident that I’ll have it quilted by the end of next week. I wish I could say that I’ve done some knitting but I’d be kidding you and myself. I finished the first Baudelaire well over a week and a half ago but I haven’t knit since then. I need to. I want to.

Thursday’s To Do List:

  1. Return Blockbuster DVD’s
  2. Photograph Easy Lap Quilt
  3. Update blog
  4. Wash dishes
  5. Make bed
  6. Wash and fold laundry
  7. Vacuum
  8. Make a cheesecake
  9. Cut veggies for Three Cheese Tortellini and Veggie Soup
  10. Work on five pages of French homework
  11. Knit Pearl Buck Sweater
  12. Work on Back Tack 4 projects

So far I’m doing good considering it’s 9:25 a.m. here in sunny California. Hell, I’m usually not even awake yet. Today I’m going to make progress. Til then.

Happy Unbirthday

The plan was to make a cute little cupcake hat for Scouts second birthday. I started it lastnight. I felt I might end procrastinating on making this for her because I have so many things to do. As simple as I’d like my life to be I am still busy on a day to day basis. This week is especially insane.

  • Wednesday, (today) – French 1 class, we have a dictation
  • Thursday- Knott’s Scary Farm
  • Friday- Jem’s therapy appointment
  • Saturday-Blythe Doll Show in L.A., dinner at Buca di Beppo and then a 10:30 showing of “Saw V”
  • Sunday- Target shopping, (which can be quite extensive if one isn’t careful), and a day at Boo at the Zoo. (The L.A. zoo has a special weekend when they do Halloween activities and we figured we should take advantage seeing as we are members.)

So, as busy as we are I had to make some time and I cast on for the hat last night. By morning I was knitting the frosting and I just finished up.

Pattern: Cupcake Hat by Susan B. Anderson from Itty Bitty Nusery

Knit on US 8’s with some Red Heart Soft Yarn in cream and chocolate. Cherries were crocheted for me by someone on Etsy since I can’t crochet for squat, though I did do a picot edge around the brim of the frosting.

It’s getting harder and harder to photograph an almost two year old on the run. Sorry for the horrible fuzziness. She loves her new hat and had her big brother try it on. Now he wants one.

As for the Mittens I have to say that I am very disappointed with the pattern. The actual charts were just fine. It’s the sizing. I’ve contemplated quite a bit and asked myself, “Do I know anyone with a size 8″ circumference hand?” I cannot answer that because I simply do not know anyone with a size 8″ circumference hand. My gauge was a bit bigger so I decided on using those needles and continue. The mitts should have been bigger, right? Wrong. Somehow, some way, they are entirely too small. They barely fit Jem’s hands. He wants those too, though. So I will gift them to him and maybe start another pair for myself. Four skeins of Koigu can easily make two pair. Maybe even a baby pair for Scout. She should have something handknit to open on her birthday, right?

Fast Forward to the Weekend

It’s Friday. In about two hours Shawn will walk through the door all stinky and sweaty from work. That is my queue to begin our weekend. Last night, Shawn and I were talking.

I said, “Do you know what I would love to do this weekend?”

He replied, “What?”

I answered, “I’d love to have an entire day when I can just work on all of my projects”.

Whether I will get an entire day or not is yet to be determined. I can assure you that I will keep busy though. Today I’ve been cleaning and trying to organize projects. Yarn needs to go in bags. Paper needs to be cut down. Fabric needs to be ironed. Packages need to be taped and addressed. Chicken needs to be de-boned and put into buttermilk.

My plans include making bags with some of Sandi Henderson’s new Farmer’s Market fabric. The moment I saw the apple fabric online I knew I just had to buy some. I was lucky that the local fabric shop had some in stock, so I bought a couple of yards.

The orange is actually going to be used with the Medocino fabrics I bought a couple of weeks ago. I ♥ the orange and blue theme.

While at the craft store I picked up some Halloween papers and embellishments so that I can make a banner for the house. I love the one I did with Basic Grey papers for Christmas last year and I thought I should make a Halloween themed one for this year. Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I love candy. I love dressing up. However, I’m thinking that hundreds of years ago that Halloween meant something completely different. When you get older the significance of a holiday becomes a little more clear compared to when you are chocolate greedy 7 year old goblin. I’m trying to remedy my dislike of the holiday and get a bit creative.

I have to finish working on the shop sample Jaywalkers. I have to finish the rest of the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket. I have to design a pattern based on a Target sweater. I have to put together the rest of the Purple Quilt top. I have a few sets of stitch markers to make.

And I have this to think about. I missed out on the last round, which ended about two years ago. I was able to get in this time. All my creative juices are flowing. This will also be the last of my swaps I’ll be doing for a while. I took a fairly long break and then overextended myself again with all the great swaps that are out there. They are addicting. Maybe it’s just the feeling you get when you open a present, or maybe just receiving something in the mail.

So with that, I have things to do and people to see. I have a bowling record to break tomorrow night. I have a family I need to spend time with. There is some rest to be had. So have a good weekend and see you on Monday.

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Friday Fill In #92

1. October means that there will be a little rainfall.
2. Bugs and snakes scare me!
3. Leaves are falling all around, it’s getting a little bit cooler.
4. My favorite horror movie is Halloween because Michael Meyers rocks.
5. Baking with my mom = good memories.
6. It was a dark and stormy night and the candles flickered their light.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to homemade fried chicken and mashed potatoes, tomorrow my plans include kicking Shawn’s ass at bowling and Sunday, I want to make magic!

For the Love of Yarn!

I went a little crazy with my “extra” yarn money from my Etsy commissions. Since that is my alloted amount of money I can spend once supplies are paid for I can use it as I please. With that, I shouldn’t be able to. It’s a dangerous thing when there is a PayPal balance available. There are no second thoughts. There is no justifying. For example, two nights ago I playing on Etsy and decided it was time to try some Chewy Spaghetti now that the shop had been updated. I’d been pining for Vainglorious for a while now.

It will fit in perfectly with my yarn stash. Just today I went through my yarn stash and cleaned up quite a bit. I noticed an awful lot of blues, browns and greens in my stash. I think I need to start thinking outside the box. But then the prospect of two new sock collections by Sundara will hopefully break those chains. One year of two subscriptions is twenty four skeins of über fantastic Sundara. Though I admit, not all 24 are mine. I subscribed to her warm collection and will be for sure destashing one color that I’m not fond of. The other collections, (light), is being shared with two ladies. I’m getting 4 skeins from that collection. So in all, I’m really only getting 15 skeins. Oh, plus 2 from another woman’s subscription. Do you see the insanity in all of this?

Speaking of Sundara, I wasn’t too keen on the Midnight Meadows from my Seasons subscription. The yarn is lovely but not much of a winter-y color in my opinion. I was lucky to find another Sundaraphile who wanted to trade the ever coveted Glacier that I’ve been trying to nab for the past 4 months:

I think I’m going to have Shawn make me a glass case for this cake of yarn. It’s that gorgeous in real life!

Admist my online shopping I bought a copy of Bend The Rules Sewing so I had my own copy. The reason for needing my own copy is this. I had seen the swap was still holding sign ups so I gave it a thought for a while. But then I saw that my blogging buddy Bekka, (try saying that five times fast), had joined. So I had to! How’s that for justifying an excuse to sew and get a quilt in return?

I also went a little iTunes crazy. (Didn’t you ever wonder about the name: iKnit.iPurl?) Even though the iPod is still broken, (I’m hoping to have a new one for my b-day, or at least for this one to be repaired considering I spent $250 on the damn thing and spent a couple hundred a bit of money on music), I still buy music. Since I am on the computer pretty often I like to have music to listen to. You should see me on the days I do major cleaning. I turn up the volume and start singing the high notes from “I’m So Excited”. Pointer Sister I’m not. But I can be an honorary member, right?

With that, I’m not a bum. I don’t sit here and just buy yarn and music. Honest. I do knit.

It’s a suprise. It’s a suprise because I told you that I wasn’t going to cast on anything else because I had enough to do with all my UFO’s, but I lied. So, SUPRISE!

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Friday Fill In:

And…here we go!

1. There is no need to worry about bills today.

2. Where in the heck did the time go today?

3. Washed the dishes, folded laundry, grocery shopping, updated my computer, cleaned the kitchen counter, organized my yarn, cleaned the living room, picked up toys, went to the library and knit two rows is all I managed to do.

4. Prospects for my French class are extremely high!

5. Peace, Love and Happiness is the message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility are rarely experienced once you have children.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to planning our Moms Groups’ birthday party, tomorrow my plans include gaining 10 lbs. at the LA County Fair and Sunday, I want to lose the 10 lbs. I gained from Saturday!

I guess I won’t be wearing my jeans tomorrow?

Twists and Turns

I’ve steadily been working on my second Central Park Hoodie, though I should be finishing up my sock design, my test knitting, and a number of other projects. The fact is this sweater is fairly mindless. I can knit and never be disappointed with what I’m doing next. It’s easy and somewhat familiar. I don’t need to refer back to the pattern, I just let my fingers twist and turn the fibers and let my hands do the work. I need mindless right now. A few days ago I popped some stitches on one side of my stomach and now I have a fairly large lump underneath the skin that is quite painful. I think I popped a couple on the other side because it’s painful, yet there is no lump. I’ve been assured this is normal but all the same, I’m in pain and need something to focus on.

I’m excited about the prospects of this sweater. I see myself throwing it on over a white t shirt and jeans. I see myself wearing it to the book store while I peruse the aisles for a couple of hours. I see myself wrapping myself up in it’s warmth once the seasons change into cooler weather.

I forsee a lot of these cable like twists and turns in my future, and not just the knitting kind. I sat up late lastnight, letting my mind jump from one thought to the next. What do I want to do with my life? What can I do to contribute my skills and talents? How can we live a less stressful life? These typically aren’t the things you think of when you are a teenager. But somewhere down the road, as you grow older, you find yourself asking yourself these things. Somehow you must become responsible.

My whole life has been dedicated to taking care of others: my mother, my son, my daughter, my friends, Shawn, etc. Somehow I forget to take care of my needs. I find that I need to be in control because lately everything has been out of my control. I’m trying to get organized again. I’m trying to find new outlets, like a new book club and joining the YMCA. I’m giving myself new challenges like making more foods from scratch, (last night it was homemade tortilla chips and guacamole), and starting a Once A Day Post challenge for August. I find that I’m wanting to get out more and that the deep, dark depression that somehow fits me like a shroud at times has slowly lifted. I look at the stars outside more often and feel dizzy. I watch Scout sleep and remember her days here at home. I dream about going back to school and learning a new language. A new culture.

I’m ready to start my new journey.