Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post Christmas Rundown

So Christmas is over now, all the excitement and stress behind us. I'm a slacker, though, and my relatives in the midwest haven't received their gifts yet because I haven't mailed them yet! I know, I know, they're already a week late! I promise they will go out tomorrow morning, if not this afternoon. I PROMISE. Love you, Kris, Paul, Sean and Derek! Don't hate me!!

The girls did really well in the gift department, and yet I don't think any of us went overboard this year. It was actually really nice not having quite so many useless toys around. In the past, Hans and I, and other relatives, have gone a little nuts, getting just random this and that. Granted, in past years, the girls were younger and it was more about opening volume than receiving quantity. Santa brought all of us fishing poles this year, which was really neat, and we're making plans to go to the pond in the neighborhood to try them out, maybe on Monday. Heather got this really neat vaccum so that now I may be able to do MY vaccuming without her hanging onto the appliance trying to "help" me. Unfortunately, though, my vaccum died Tuesday night. I'm hoping Hans can resurrect it with a new plug, but we'll see.....

I got two spa gift certificates from Hans so that I can either be generous and invite a friend along with me, or selfish and go twice alone. Still working on which it's going to be.

Hans got two MacGyver books. All he has to do now is grow the power mullet again and he'll be just like his life-long hero!

We all got many other wonderful gifts, but this is a crochet blog, so onto the crochet.

Speaking of crochet and gifts, Aliceon got her crochet kit from me, but was decidedly un-excited about it. I was disappointed, since she had talked about wanting to learn to crochet since I started. Maybe in a week or two when the glitter wears off of some of her other things.....

I got her hook case mostly made - crocheted and felted yesterday, just blocking and waiting for it to dry now....

It's actually black and lavendar, not white. I still need to take the post-felting pics, maybe today. Maybe not, though. Lots going on today.

I'm also working on a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. It's a deal where you make a red or other gender neutral scarf, send it in, and then it's given to college kids that were in foster care for Valentine's day. It sounded like a really great project, and I know from past experience that giving to others tends to bring me out of a slump.

Let's see - what else is going on? Finally starting to feel better! I'm going to head over to Kicking in just a few to blog that, though.

I also started a new weightloss thingy last night, at the advice of someone on the thyroid board. It's free so we'll see how it works. It has a community and seems like it's basically the same thing as eDiets - they even tell you what you need to be eating, make a shopping list for you and everything.

So, yeah, guess that's it for now :D

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I'm off of here, for the most part, to do the Holiday things that are to be done. I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Random Crafting Thoughts

So every year at Christmas for the last 4 years, I have embarked on some crafting adventure with the kids. The first year it was just Aliceon, and we made picture frames as gifts for everyone -

The next year, I don't remember what we did, exactly. Could have something to do with losing my Papa that year, having Heather in October, and just the fact that I was mom with 2 kids trying to manage the holidays...

2004, we made wrapping paper and sugar cookies -

Last year, we made sugar cookies, reindeer ornaments and reindeer magnets -

This year, albeit rather late, we're embarking upon homemade craft clay ornaments. I thought I was being smart, so I made up the recipe for sparkling salt dough. Yeah. Suddenly, I had flashbacks of last year, when I attempted the same recipe and failed miserably. I really don't think this year's any different. The recipe just makes for a dough that is entirely too sticky and difficult to work with for a 3 year old (for whom the texture is also, evidently, sheer torture!) and a 5 year old. So I thought I would give the old cinnamon dough recipe a try. I didn't have any applesauce, though, so I decided to use one of the 7 bazillion cans of pumpkin puree I have. So far, so good. It's easy for the kids to work with, and the smell is enticing for them. They're in a 250 oven right now. I haven't taken any pics yet, but they have another batch of dough cooling in the fridge for when they've calmed down some (that salt dough made all three of us a little nuts, so we went our separate ways for a cool down.), so I'll photgraph them doing the ornaments then. If I were to critique my own recipe, though, I would have to say that instead of 3/4 C. cinnamon to one small can pumpkin puree, I would probably do 1 1/4 C. cinnamon. The only reason I didn't this time is that, well, I ran out of cinnamon!

So, I will soon post with pics. I realize that this isn't crochet, or even yarn related, but I have made crochet ornaments, and I plan on using yarn instead of ribbon for these ornaments!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thoughts and observations....

Okay, so yeah, I'm a blogging fool these days. So shoot me! You all have figured out by now that, with me, it's either all or nothing! And all is good, because it means I'm having good days, days when I don't feel like I died a week ago. Increasingly rare occurance that I have good days, I'm afraid. But anyway.

So Brandee posted her pics from the craft fair.... I neglected (I think?) to mention Jesus and Mary Magdalene Sr in the mirror booth across the way from us. (note worth mentioning: See all the pink things hanging? Yeah, that's angora. It's yummy. Like, if we were comparing yarns to desserts, plain acrylic would be like cheap vanilla ice cream and angora would be the most heavenly cheesecake ever created. Just wanted to point that out. Oh, and I didn't make those - Brandee and Dani did.) Made for, um, interesting people watching, to say the least. Then, of course, there was hippie dude in the booth next to us. Nice enough and a very trusting fellow - lent us a weight to help keep our tent from blasting into space - but there was something about him that bothered me...... He was peddling his wares, just like all of us. Seems he's a written of children's books. About Kokopelli. A fertility god. Known for his giant phallus. That he leaves in rivers so it can have sex with young girls as they bathe. Yeah. So his books weren't about that, but more about Kokopelli as some sort of ancient Superman or something. Still, there was just something I couldn't quite accept about the subject matter.....

Also, if you haven't noticed, Brandee has a pic of Dani and I in our handy dandy knit berry hats! Mine was a gift from Bran for my thyca induced hair loss, and Dani's, well, just read about it!!

Felting coasters, stage 3

Okay, good thing this was the prototype! It's not bad, but there are some bugs I still need to work out, one of the biggest being size, no pun intended. I think that, as a coaster, the OSU CPT is too big. THe CPT will not, however, go to waste - I think it will be great as a hotpad!

Also, I think I may have to make the gray between the red and the white a bit wider so as to help prevent the red felting to the white, making it appear pink.....

The only other thing I can think of that needs to be tweaked is, I wasn't mindful enough of the stitching pre-felting, expecting a little more self correction. So the shaping isn't great. I'm hoping, though, once I get it blocked well, that that will take care of it. Now I just need to create a blocking board for it :D

**Noteworthy thought - this project felted down by 3 inches with 45 minutes in a super hot wash.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Felting coasters, stage 2

finished pre-felting

Felting, take 1

so here is the pre-finished, pre-felting of a coaster set I'm attempting for friends. They're HUGE Ohio State fans.....

Odd Requests and Sunday's show....

Sunday was our last craft show of the season. I was disappointed, as it seemed that something was amiss in the air - people were wandering about, spending lots, buying lots and loving lots, just not at our booth. I did sell one hat and a dishcloth. The hat was an on-the-spot comission. I think, when I told the lady 2 hours to make it (I was overestimating in case something came up, such as the tent attempting to fly away or more sales of my goods that I would need to attend to....) she thought a) that that was a long time to wander about and b) that when I said 2 hours, I really meant 3 plus hours. However, nothing untoward happened, and I created for her newborn granddaughter a lovely little cap.

Still, even after all my hard work, that was all that sold. I was really quite upset that none of my ornaments sold, seeing as how they were all original, unique and made with love, but I believe that they were overpriced by about $2 each. Oh well, it was a learning experience, right?

All in all, the show was fun. A bit monetarily disappointing, but fun. And I finally got to meet Dani, whom I was thoroughly convinced was no more than a figment of Tra and Brandee's imagination!

Dani, the UnaCrocheter or the Crochetabomber, take your pick!

Tracie and I simul-graphing one another:

And a full on shot of the booth..... We were so fortunate in our location - we were able to park at the bank across the street, and we were right in front of a Chevron station with a full deli and bathroom!

And now for the odd request...... any of you that have haold sweaters or afghans or what have you that you no longer want or need, before you send them to goodwill, would you consider sending them to me? I would love to start recycling some older yarn, and this is a great way to get yarns that I wouldn't normally buy retail for myself! If you have some you'd like to donate, just shoot me a message!

Gracias and may you have a high fiber diet!!


So I got my secret sets I was working on finished! I so wish I could post them here, but I'm pretty sure, based on comments made to me in the recent past, that the recipients (or at least one of them....) occasionally frequents this blog. I so want to post the pics, though! They turned out so nicely! Super soft and snuggly, and the colors are just, well, wow! I'm uber proud of myself!

Ah, screw it! If this is for you, and you know this is for you, just act surprised when you open it Christmas morning, okay??

Nevermind. Jenn talked me out of it. WOuldn't want to ruin Christmas morning, now would I?

I'm also, evidently, smoking crack. Yeah. See, there's this possible fancy dinner thingy Thursday night that I may be going to. Not sure yet, but it's slightly possible. Seeing as how it's a fancy shmancy Christmas thingy, and my illustrious hubby is the top banana on the job, if I do go, being all proper and presentable is paramount (yeah, I know. SOOoooooo not me, but what's a girl to do, right? Gotta further the man's career with her wit and poise!). So, my one and only dress is a black cap sleeved wrap given me by a friend. Lovely in and of itself, but I lack holiday ornamentation or warmth (it does get pseudo chilly here!) that I would surely need for various reasons beyond just accessorizing. So, like the crack head that I obviously am, I decided to embark on crocheting up a quick shrug. Why is that insane, you ask? Well, there are a number of reasons.....
  1. Never before have I crocheted a garment that has to have actual fit
  2. I couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I'm making it up as I go.
  3. I have Christmas gifts that I NEED to be finishing.
  4. Before this weekend.
  5. I have never crocheted anything that had to be seamed, joined or otherwise perfected.
  6. Did I mention the lack of a pattern?
Yeah, so like I said, crack pipe. However, I'm working on it. It may or may not come to fruition, but at least I'm trying, right? Isn't that what really counts?

Oh well, back to your regularly scheduled insanity, with our family Christmas pics to see you off.....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Such a slacker!!!

I know, I know - it's been a while. Life and all that, you know? I've been so extremely busy that I just haven't had the opportunity to sit at the computer and type up an entire post. With going out of town for THanksgiving (great, by the way - I LOVE spending T Day with Kris, Paul, Sean, Derek and Grandpa!), not feeling so hot, getting ready for the holidays, and for this coming Sunday's craft show, along with all the normal Mommy/Wife stuff I just haven't had much energy!

Still, I have been busy! I've got some "secret projects" that I can't post for fear of the recipients snooping (and I know you have been here before :D!!), but I have worked up a bunch of ornaments for this weekend's show:

(just ignore the non-woven in ends.... that's something I'm saving for the bus stop!)

I also did a pair of "announcement booties" for a friend to use for a Christmas gift:

On the gift front, I have got most of my non-household gifts at least halfway, and have started at least one household gift. I have really been concentrating more on show items, though, with the idea that I will have plenty of time to work on gifts at the show itself.....

That's about it.... for now, anyway!