28 September 2009

I went shopping...

My parents are visiting for the week so I haven't been keeping up on the computer. I must say I miss it, but it's so nice to have company.

My dad is one of those people who just can't stand to relax. So he's been doing all sorts of odd jobs for us. Presently, he's out in the yard, completely manicuring it. I feel bad that he's here working, but honestly, I think he loves it. You can see how horribly bored he gets just hanging around all day. And frankly, jj doesn't like home improvement projects, so it's wonderful for him to have the help...

My mom (I call her bean) is my show and tell buddy. I show her all my latest finds, and we talk about crafts. I got her into beading, stamping and a little into scrapbooking (more that I introduced her to the wide world of scrapbooking products to be loved and purchased...), and I'm now trying to tempt her with fabric projects. She's reluctant...I think she loves the fabric, but her machine is old and hard to work with, and I'm sure time is a factor.

Speaking of products, my mom needed some beads, and wondered if I'd take her to the bead store. I obliged... (I know you're not surprised by that.) :) Let's give props to jj as he gave me some money to spend. Yay jj!

I took her to Fusion Beads first, as it's my favorite bead store. We have Shipwreck, which is great for your basic supplies, but Fusion has all sorts of oddities and focal pieces. The gals who work there are just awesome too! Every time I go in there I come out with a new project because they have so many inspiring examples. In fact, I wanted my mom to see all the amazing stuff, but as I haven't done any beading recently, I was sure I wouldn't buy much...maybe a strand or two. $70 later I have some seriously fun stuff to work with...I got some ICE resin. I'm so excited to use it...so excited! So very, very excited!!

And then after Fusion we went to Beads & Beyond, which just happens to share space with Quiltworks NW. How convenient... ;) I didn't even look at the beads because the fabric was so very yummy. It's a little more expensive to buy there than online, and I do love receiving packages in the mail, but there's something wonderful about going to the shop. One, you can see the fabric in all it's glory. Two, you get to chat with the employees and customers. Today I chatted with a lady who had the most beautiful scarf on...just gorgeous! She even told me where to find the pattern. So hopefully, someday, you'll be seeing that scarf, and I'll be wearing it. And the gal cutting the fabric was so patient and fun to talk to. I just love friendly people...

Don't worry, I'll share my purchases in another post. I love to share you know...

Finally, no post would be complete without a picture or two...

jj bought me some flowers...that just makes my day, you know... Love my tiny little vases too. The one on the left is a milk bottle which held some super-yummy chocolate milk from a local farm. You pay a deposit and then bring the bottle back to get the deposit back. But that's too cute not to keep!And this adorable little frog(?) is in the bathroom. Originally the tub had sliding doors. Hideous sliding doors... My dad took them off for us on one of his visits. Underneath one of the door holder thingies was this little wallpaper piece.
How cute is that? I'm keeping him!

22 September 2009

Avoiding the nap...

My body wanted to take a nap this afternoon, but I hate the way I feel afterward. So I decided to blog instead. Aren't you lucky! :) (I need an eye-rolling smiley)

I've started on my new bag...
Needless to say, the gauge is much, much smaller... I'm using a 3.5mm hook. I have a snazzy new aluminum Susan Bates hook now! My old plastic one was also SB, but as you know, it's awfully breakable. Thanks for the heads-up Debbie!I love the way the yarn curls after you've unraveled it...I find myself holding too tight (because of the smaller hook?) and so I've been experiencing 'wrist discomfort.' (yes, I'm laughing at that)

Yesterday, while waiting at the school for my boy, I showed my girl a Hello Kitty backpack someone had on. She said "I wish it was mine." One thing led to another and she decided she wanted to go to Target and get a backpack. I told her we could go look (we happened to be going for cat food anyway) and she said, "No, we buy!"

So when my boy gets into the car, she excitedly tells him that she'll be getting a backpack. We start driving away and she says, "Momma, I think we'll skip Mabs' food." (Mable is the cat) And then I go to turn down our street and she screams "NO, the backpack!" I explain to her that we'd go after daddy came home... I think she might have had her heart set on a backpack... :)

So here it is...We decided on the Strawberry Shortcake because it was smaller for her little body. Brings back childhood memories!

I also got these...
I try my best not to even look in the dollar area because it's always a bunch of crap, but this is such cute crap. I'm sure I'll find something I need them to hold...

I met yet another crazy-big spider friend yesterday. I try so hard not to scare them away...but I really want you to see the size...
She wasn't too horribly shy. She stopped halfway and let me get pretty close...I always think of a bunch of things to chat about throughout the day, but I can never remember them by the time I sit down. (Heck, I forgot about half of this stuff until I went to upload the pics!) I'll just leave you with this...

19 September 2009

Aha!

This morning I finally decided to spend my $50 amazon gift card. I've had it for months. I know... how can one live with a delicious gift card burning a hole in the desk and not use it? Well...with all the books out there that I'd like to have, $50 really isn't that much. Yes, they sell other things...but as you can see, I have a hard enough time contending with my bookly desires, I couldn't possibly add other goodies into the mix.

So I decided to buy two of the harmony crochet guides. I skipped the edgings. I think it'd be nice, but I can wait on that. I haven't rented them, but I don't think I can go wrong. I also got this for my boy, and this for my girl. (I love Mo Willems and Miffy*!) Geez, how generous am I? :)

While I was there I thought I'd look at the reviews for that Crochet School book. I didn't find one that mentioned the cover pattern being missing. So it got me to thinking... After checking the page numbers I've found that this particular copy is missing pages 43 and 44! Hmm...what could be on those? My coveted pattern perhaps? Did a person of lesser morals covet it as well?

Remember that whole 'I'm going to finish the big granny square blanket, and I won't start any other projects before that, and oh, just this one little purse because it'll go so quickly' thing? Well, I started something else this morning. 0:) Barely started really. I decided to knit a lovely blanket! Problem is, it's been a year (or so...) since I last knitted, and you'd think I'd never done it before. It was awful! I was all thumbs, I couldn't control my beloved addi turbos to save my life. It was a mess... But I'll still give it a go. Practice makes perfect eh? (And hopefully makes one remember quickly...I've got lonely socks that need a neighbor!)

I did learn something from it though...perhaps it's good to have multiple projects going at once. A little crochet, a little knitting, a little sewing, a little beading...just so I don't forget and feel like I'm starting all over each time. You know?

So let's get down to business, shall we? Who's been giving my spiders steroids?
I've never seen garden spiders get so darn big! The picture doesn't really capture the size very well, but my finger is on the top of the leaf and she's on the bottom...I just love spiders... *happy sigh*

Here's one with some food... looks like a bee maybe?
For reference, this is a normal leaf...One day I went out and saw this crazy curled leaf... (I'd say peek-a-boo, but that's her butt...)I can confidently say 'her' because the other day I saw this!
BABIES! Isn't that so sweet? Tiny little babies...

A garden spider had babies by our front door as well, but they literally look like a sprinkle of pepper stuck in a web...until they move.

How was your weekend?


*That's the first time I've seen the Miffy wikipedia entry...I love that they have a statue! Love, love, love!

17 September 2009

Best laid plans...

Yesterday kind-of sucked...so I had every intention of making this a better day, starting with a trip to the craft store right after we dropped my boy off for school. Fun, fun! ( I need to buy a smaller gauge crochet hook for that bag.)

I woke up before my alarm, realizing I didn't set it early enough for my boy to get a shower. I didn't want him to sleep on his clean hair because today was picture day. So I get up, and it's 30 minutes past when I usually get up! Apparently I never set an alarm at all...

I decided it was no big deal, I'd just skip my own shower. So we're running around, getting clean, then I realize his shirt (for the pic) was in the bottom of the hamper! Okay, it didn't smell bad, so I sprayed it with starch for a nice fresh scent, and we were good again...

Then I woke up my girl. She seemed cheerful enough--then she walked into the hallway and yakked all over the place! She felt obliged to walk the length of the hall while doing so, thus making a greater mess for me.

Not the day I had planned, to say the least... We camped out on the couch all day, she slept, I watched CSI. I couldn't work on the bag, but I did fiddle with this...The pattern is in this book...
See that awesome green lovliness on the cover? That's why I rented the book. I want to make that. But guess what? Not in the book... Carzy, huh? I think I'll try the Harmony guides or something. It's easy enough to figure out the pattern, but I don't know how to start after the foundation chain and all... Hmm, maybe I do??? Oh either way, I think I'll check out that other book. I love checking craft books out of the library, because then you can decide which ones you really want to buy...

Also, remember that lovely Cascade 220 pile? I think I'm going to make a stripey felted tote... I think. Maybe some other pattern? Squares? We'll see!

Also, thank you for the lovely comments lately. I so love comments! :)

16 September 2009

Make sure you listen carefully...

...because you may never hear these words spoken by me again. I'm going to undo my bag. Yes, I'm going to unravel all those stripes (ughhh) and start over again. I'm feeling a little ill right now...

Look at it...I think it's hard to see, but it's like a big basket, only it doesn't hold shape...
Ugh...it looks awful when stretched! Like saggy granny undies...

So then I took in the sides a bitStill not right. Oh, it's just awful! Awful...

In the original pattern she used a much smaller hook (why in the world did I use the size I did?) so her rounds didn't get so horribly big. But mine did. It would have been too wide for handles to work...I think. So then I thought I'd do a few decreases...but then it just started resembling a ball. It's just awful...

So I think I'll start with an oval perhaps, instead of a circle... what do you think? (Lucy's looks so great. But I wonder what it looks like when in use.) I'm going to try to re-use as much yarn as I can. What a waste of time and yarn... but I really want this bag. *sigh*

And to top off this wonderful day, my son is home sick from school. And you know what? My kids just don't get along...they just don't. It's nothing but screaming, complaining, pure craziness. And in between that my girl asks for food..like every 15 minutes. It's enough to drive a lady mad!

Maybe jj, in all his sunshiney splendor, will come home and salvage this day. Yes, I'm joking...

14 September 2009

The birds, obsessions, and dishpan hands...

Apparently a flock of birds decided to take a rest in the trees behind our house. There have got to be hundreds of them...well, I'm not a very good judge of numbers, but it's a mass of Alfred Hitchcock proportions...

This morning I decided to curl up with one of my favorite things...a magazine. But not just any magazine, a Country Living magazine. I love them! I love to look at pictures of beautiful rooms, decorated just the way I'd like mine to be...someday. Here's a stack of favorites. I even have an LL Bean catalog in there because they sell quilts, and I do so love to see a room with a quilt on the bed...
And that got me to thinking...the things I love the most tend to be what jj hates the most. Mostly because he hates spending money and I spend every cent I'm given on things. Things, things, and more things...

So what are some of my other obsessions? Let's take a peek at my stash, shall we?

Beads...I have a few....no, this isn't nearly all of them. 0:)Yarn...mmm. Actually, of all of my stashes, this is my smallest because I find it rather useful to have a project in mind when buying, whereas fabric needs no pre-determined purpose. That being said, I do love Cascade 220, and these do not have a purpose...
Nor does this one. But it's so soft (alpaca) and I felt the need to have it... Luckily I have a book of one-skein wonders.
Now here's the motherlode. Fabric. I have a 'bit' of that too. Let's take a look at my very favorite cabinet (which I hope to have more of after my craft room is no longer under construction.)
(Please forgive the ugly lighting. My room doesn't have a window in it yet. Just one small part of the aforementioned construction...)

Let's open it up, shall we?
Yes, the middle shelf has been repeated. It's funny, in this picture everything looks so pale. That top shelf is 30's, anything but pale... 2nd shelf is shabby-style florals and backgrounds. The rest are just fabrics I was rather fond of...

I have other cabinets that are the same make as this one, but they were 7.5+ feet tall, and our ceilings are only 7 (one of my least favorite things about this house) so they had to be altered to fit in, and now the doors don't work, etc...

Speaking of which, have you seen my hands? I have dishpan hands. See the dry skin, so bad that it's wrinkling up my fingers?
(Remember Madge?) I used to have this adorable pair of pink, cuffed rubber gloves, but jj used them in a way I didn't approve and I just haven't replaced them yet.

So, as you've probably guessed, we don't have a dishwasher. I know...how can a house not have a dishwasher? And the sad part is, the kitchen is laid out such that we'd have to redo a lot to fit one in...

There is a cute story behind this though. This area is rather expensive and jj doesn't have some awesome, high-paying job, so we never thought we'd be able to afford a house here. But one afternoon jj came home from work with a printout and on it, a house with potential. It was in a town we had really liked, but thought was too far away.* It was ugly, but right by a lake, and it had a yard! So we went to look at it, loved the lake and all the space, and miraculously, we were approved for the loan!**

The night after we made the offer we were hanging out, so happy, and I asked, "Did you see the dishwasher. Was it old?" jj thinks for a bit, "No, I don't remember it." Yup... but in the end we we felt so lucky to even have a home, we decided it didn't matter...

* something to know about this area...the roads are whacky. The same road may occur 4 or 5 times without connecting. So if you're going to my town via 124th, you can't just get on 124th and head east, because it will end. And yet, in a few miles, in the middle of nowhere it starts up again. And also, if you're on a road, and it has a curve, guess what? The name changes! It's absurd... So our town isn't half as far as it would seem...

** Yes, we're prime examples of people who should never have been approved for a loan, hence the recession. But we were responsible, cut spending, and did what we could to make sure we could handle the payments. we also didn't go making any more loans, etc. We thanked our lucky stars for the break, and we weren't about to push it... ;)

13 September 2009

Oh happy day!

How could I not be happy? Look at what my dear, sweet, wonderful, did I mention sweet jj got for me yesterday...She's the cutest HK I've ever seen, and she's mine!!! Cute things just plain make me happy...

Actually, the whole day was pretty decent. We went to Rainforest cafe and met jj's dad. I sat next to my girl and she was so good and sweet. There was a guy dressed as a frog and she kept looking for him, but every time he got close she wouldn't look or move. :) There was also a balloon-animal maker. Well, he made a lot more than animals, but I don't really know what else to call him...

I've been such a busy bee today. I vacuumed the whole house, straightened up, did some laundry, etc... I really feel like I should be sewing or something to keep up this productivity streak, but alas, here I am...

I feel I must mention a giveaway over at Terri's blog. She's celebrating 1,000 sales in her Etsy shop over the last 6 months. Can you believe that? Wow! I've toyed with the idea of listing some things there, but as with everything else I put it off. So lazy, I am!

Hope your weekend was wonderful. I'm not ready for Monday, are you?

11 September 2009

Parking wars...

This year my son goes to school all day, and that means there are a lot more people who pick up their kids. The first day I thought I'd get there 15 minutes early and be one of the first in line. Wrong! I was way at the back. So the next day I go 20, again, way at the back. Another day 25. Still, there was one lady there. I was like, just how long does this lady wait? Then it was on, I was going to be first in line! So I've been packing up my crochet and sitting in line for 30 minutes! Yes, I'm laughing at myself. It's rather ridiculous, but it gives me something to do, a little challenge to spice up my day. It's sad, isn't it?

Last night we went to the park before dinner. It's always nice to go to the park with jj because then I don't have to please 2 kids at once!

This is the most fun swing imaginable! The three of us (not jj, he's too big!) get on it and spin and swing. Too fun!Then we went to a favorite spot...Pickle Time. When I told my daughter we'd be going she squealed and said, "I want rootbeer and stickers!" The lady who (I believe) owns it always puts stickers on their hands.I just heard something in the garage. I've been hearing lots of somethings lately. jj says it's probably just the wood reacting to temperature and such, but I don't think so. Why so much now, and not before? We've had rat (eeewwww) problems in the past. I'm suspicious...

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a pumpkin update. They're not babies anymore! I hope they don't ripen too fast! I want them for October/November.
And some late gladioluses (gladioli?) have bloomed. So lovely...
And a rose...Speaking of gladioli, My son and I read a book that was teaching something about, I can't remember, plants maybe. Anyhow, she wrote cactuses. Now my handy-dandy, most beloved dictionary says that's okay, but I've never heard that before. It's always been cacti, and that's how I like it. I just looked up gladiolus. The plural is either gladiolus or gladioluses.

Wow, I can ramble, can't I? Especially when talking about my friend, the dictionary...

Now to the good stuff! Look at what I got in the mail today!Wonderful, isn't it? I thought I'd take it out in the sun because whites seem to turn out a little blue in the house. It's a mixture of new and vintage fabrics! She was actually giving them as a giveaway, and oh how I wanted to win (of course, I didn't). So when I found out she was selling a select few I bought that puppy as fast as I could!

And Beata's business card is adorable! I thought about scanning it, but it's her own image (of her incredible matryoshka dolls) and I didn't feel right about that...

10 September 2009

A bit o' cuteness...


After I post some happy things, I'm going to sit my butt on the couch, watch some TV with my sweet little girl, crochet, and chill. Of course I also have a load of beads to clean from the floor, and paint to wash off little hands...

Here's a happy jelly lid...cute isn't it?And a bit ago I bought some kitty crayons. Look at this sweet packaging...Hope you have a wonderful day!

09 September 2009

Bits and pieces...

I've wanted to post for a few days now, but the timing has to be just right... the kids playing quietly, me in a good mood, and the most difficult of all, I've got to have something to talk about. When I said this blog is about my mundane life, I wasn't joking! But it's been almost a week, so I do have a few things to share now...

The first days of school always bring a dump-load of emotions my way. So after dropping my baby, I mean son, off one particularly lonely morning, I took my daughter to the grocery store for a few things, and we came home with this happy pink doughnut...It ended up being a rather cozy, quiet morning for us girls (and our naughty treats!)

My son was the first 'patient' of the year in the school nurse's office. He skinned both his knees. I think I may have forgotten to take a picture to scrapbook. :( (Certainly wouldn't be the first time I've done that!) Otherwise it was a rather uneventful first week.

JJ had the day off Monday...
It was rainy and cool. Rain one minute, sun the next, then the wind...So then it's not really my fault, but more the weather's, that I broke my promise. You know, that promise to myself that I would keep working on that granny square blanket before I started on something else. Did we not know this would happen?

First came the buying of yarn...that was a while ago, so I still thought I was doing well. But on Monday, I cracked! So here's the beginning of a lovely bag, which I'll tell more about when it's done...
Incidentally, my crochet hook broke yesterday. I primarily use one of those jelly-color plastic ones. Yes, they're cheap, but the hook on the metal ones seems to be ever so slightly wider than the rest of the 'stem' and I have such a time trying to get the hook back through my loop. Whereas the circumference of the plastic is consistent throughout... I even tried an 'ergonomic' Clover hook, and not only was the hook the same as the other metal ones, but I found my thumb hurting! Funny, eh? Uh oh! I just went to the Clover website to get that link and I saw these... I've not seen them in the store, but I might need them...

We also went to a reptile 'zoo.' It was lots of fun...I held 2 snakes. It's not much of a secret, but I'd love to have a snake!

So adorable...She had beautiful eyes...JJ went to the grocery store and brought back these... I feel loved.
And then to end the lovely day, the sun came out for a beautiful sunset. But, as usual, it was fleeting, and I stopped to look a little too long and therefore missed a perfect picture. But this will have to do... See the shadows? Those are from big trees behind our house...
So here it is, Wednesday already! We went to the craft store for a $2 crochet hook, and walked out with it and $40 worth of unecessities, we painted a bit, spilled beads all over the floor...the usual.

How was your weekend?