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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giftapalooza 2009

I am so proud of myself!  I got my hair cut and came right home and started taking pictures!  I am such the procrastinator that I didn't really expect to get it done, even though I said I would.

Well...I know what you are here for so...


This was in my stocking.  Some pattern tamers, some gold, my beloved Chibi, a Fossil case, some Sharpie Pens.  So lovely.



Every year I get a different purse, usually a novelty purse and this year's was from Henrietta's Handbag and is called Profile.  I have been using it since I opened it!  I love it.  It is much bigger than I thought it would be.



For the last few years my darling nephews have been making or getting me charms for a charm bracelet they got me.  These are this years.  The heart says "love" and the other is a buddha.  I love them so much!



My sister absolutely spoils me!  Not only did she make tons of bags for wrapping that double as project bags for knitting!, but she also makes and gets me the best stuff.  Here I got the wonderful Itty Bitty Toys Book, a Monkey Project bag, a Monkey calculator and some wonderful monkey brown cotton yarn.



Then she got me loads of cool stocking stuffers.  A Good Luck bracelet, a small sock monkey, a cool pen, a little dragon journal (I was born in the year of the dragon), a freaking cool as pencil case made out of recycled potato/snack chip bags loaded with some fab clips, and of course a penguin ornament!



Then she completely outdid herself and made me a beautiful Box Leaf wrap (chunky sized for my chunk) and an Ishbel beret!  OMG I cannot tell you how beautiful this is.  She got the most gorgeous yarn and oh, I could gush for days.  It means so much that she was willing to give up so much time to make something so beatiful.  She is my hero.  She is crafty beyond words.  She really needs to start a blog because she has so much to share (hint hint sister dear).  Oh and the shawl pin is gorgeous too.  Such a great gift!






You might have noticed Myrna modeling the wrap and hat.  I have wanted one of these for years and this year, my wonderful mother got me this.  She was named Molly, but I wasn't fond of that.  I thought she needed a classy, hollywood glamour "old" name and I thought of a little theater in Helena, the Myrna Loy and thus she was named.



I got me some jewels!  I got a key necklace, after wanting one for such a long time, but never finding the "right one".  Well my mom found the right one and she also found the little penguin necklace I have been wanting.  Such a great gift!



And then I got this set of three bracelets.  Nothing says LdyPngn like these bracelets.  I love them.  You can wear them single or as a trio (my preferred wearing).  They are from NHL.com if anyone is interested in supporting the Penguins!...oh all right there are other teams too.  But really, the Pittsburgh ones are the best!



And then I got this fab box of Knit Picks!  I got the Options interchangeables SQUEE.  I got two needle tip stands (for my Zephyrs and Options) and then I got the Holiday Ornaments kit and the Carmen Banana kit. 

I got some other stuff too here and there from other people.  I just am running out of room for al the pictures.  Actually, those are the ones I took.  I have gifts here and there and these were all rather close by.  I am truly spoiled and I have no problem with that.  In fact, I rather enjoy it.  I am not ashamed at all.

Well I hope that every one had a wonderful holiday and the new year is approaching.  Time to spend it with family and friends.  I will be rining in the new year with the East Coast (I am in the Mountain Time Zone) and with these two...


Happy New Year and check back in early 2010 for some links to a few things I am working on!

I know I said

I know that I said I would be back today with photos of my Christmas receiving...I might have lied.  I haven't even taken photos of any of it, so actually taking them and posting them today is going to be kind of pushing it, unless I want to stay up until one o'clock a.m.  I assure you, I don't.  So, if everything goes according to plan, I will take photos when I get home (just a touch late) and then upload them to the computer and then I can ready them for posting here.  And by ready, I mean transfer them to a USB so that they are portable.

I just didn't want everyone (all one of you readers) sitting around hitting refresh all day when I am not going to put any photos up today.

In other news:  I am going to go get my hair cut today.  Nothing drastic, because, well I already cut it all off, so really a trim because I can't do ANYTHING with my hair!  Seriously it is so thick that when you try grow it out you can't do anything with it.  It does the opposite of what you want it to do and when you think you have it and you leave the bathroom feeling great, it all falls or goes limp or just plays dead!  So, a trim and a thin and I will feel much better.  Just another reason I need that damn wig!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Glamberace!

It’s funny how fast plans can change. I am a huge list maker. I make lists for everything. A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up my Christmas knitting, I started to think of what I was going to do after. So, I open an Excel workbook and start plotting my 2010 knitting. I put it away for a while and finished up Christmas. In the meantime, I have set up a three ring notebook and started collecting patterns to work on for the New Year. Today I found the original Excel workbook and well only one thing (1) matches between the two “lists”! I blame it all on my brain. When I have time to relax and let my brain wander, it comes up with all these ideas of things I want to get done.


The last few days have been off days for me. I haven’t done any knitting since Christmas Day! I was going to spend a good chunk of Sunday knitting, but I had some errands to run and then I didn’t feel I had enough time before going to the ice show with my Aunt and young cousin. So, I didn’t do any. Then last night, I really wanted to get some things done around the house (putting gifts away, gathering patterns, sleeping), that I didn’t even pull out any needles. I wanted to get the cowl done before the clock strikes midnight January 1, but…unless I take a day off of work, I don’t see my energy levels being high enough to complete that. But then, technically it would be my first project of 2010. The silver lining.

I feel that Christmas gifting was a success this year. I worried because just a few days prior to Christmas, a link appeared in an email to an article about the “worst holiday gifts” and sitting right there in the top fifteen (15) was Handmade Gifts! OMG-The-HORROR! I worried for days about how my hand knitted gifts would be received. I had already mailed off my sister’s gifts and I had made two things for her. I had made a headband/ear warmer for my dear mother. I had made cowls for friends, a pillow for my aunt, dishcloths for my other aunt, a dear friend, and my masseuse. I had made a hat for Bob and was just finishing up my Frito Bandito scarf for my mother. What was I going to do? I was stumped for gifts I could go purchase, not just for thought, but for funding as well. Then, one by one recipients began opening their gifts and seemed to love the items, or they were good actors. I rest assured that I had done okay by my friends and family and decided that this woman writer either, had never received something beautiful and thoughtful, or was a stuck up snobby bitch who expected nothing but robin egg blue boxes and espresso machines under her tree. Her loss I say!

Is it weird that I want to purchase a wig? I mean a full on head of hair wig. Ken Paves is shelling hair on QVC and I am quite interested in purchasing a dark/ashy/golden/blonde wig to wear. In public. I think it is weird, but then I think it is edgy and quirky. And I want to be edgy and quirky, but it is hard because I am boring and fat. It is nearly a $100 investment. What if I look like a tool? I am out about twenty bucks between the shipping costs to and then returning the item. Would I receive the old nodding of the head non committal, “if you like it” approval from my mother? Would my sister think that I have clearly lost my mind and what would my coworkers think about me suddenly having longer and much lighter hair? Would they talk about me up and down the hallways? What kind of questions would I get from my aunt? Would Homeland Security be at my house wondering why I am changing my look and then rummage through my browsing history to see if I have been looking up how to make a bomb? Which, by the way, I have not. Would it itch something fierce? Would it cause my real hair to fall out? Would my boys recognize me? Would they try to pull it off my head and hide their bones in it? Do I really want to spend $100 on fake hair just because I spent $100 cutting it all off and am regretful? Will it look fake? Will it blow off when I roll down my window or open the sun roof? Do I really want Jessica Simpson hair? AGH! I need answers and about $100 to try it out!

I had to go to the dentist after work today. Nothing like finishing up a boring day with a shot of Novocain and the drilling of a tooth. I am sitting here, some two hours later and am just regaining some feeling in the left side of my face. I am quite sure that by tomorrow I will feel the effects of biting my tongue and cheek. It was funny, the dentist is giving me the “shot” and asks me if it hurts because I didn’t flinch. I assured him that it hurt very much, but what was I going to do? I mean the man has a huge gun full of numbing agent…it’s not like I could just jump up and take him down. He apparently didn’t look at my feet that had curled into a little ball or my white knuckles as I clamped down as hard as I could on my keys. I figure in an hour I should be able to eat more than soup…I hope. I am hungry!

I am in love with Adam Lambert’s album! I had totally written him off as a wackadoo that sounded like Freddy Mercury. Dude, I was so wrong! His album is amazing! I also took a listen to the new Lady Gaga (a friend let me borrow hers) and it is okay. I really like Bad Romance. I will have to listen to it a bit more. But seriously I give a total two thumbs up to Glamberace!

I didn’t even touch on all the loot I took in this Christmas. But, fear not, I will be back tomorrow to update. Oh and I think I figured out what readers want…PICTURES. So, tomorrow I will be here with photos of my loot!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Frito Bandito, Traditions and Warm Wishes

It finally snowed last night, but I fear that today will be sunny and warm and that what little snow there is will melt away and I will be left with a dry, dead Christmas. You can totally tell that I don’t commute to work anymore. It just doesn’t seem like winter, let alone Christmas without snow on the ground. 




I am done with Christmas wrapping and shopping! I finished last night when I wrapped the last gift for Mom. I was trying to finish something up and after 4 ½ hours of binding off, I finished it and couldn’t wrap it up fast enough! I made a Bandito Scarf simply because I had a shawl pin that I really wanted to give her and I couldn’t just say, here’s a shawl pin, good luck with it. So, I had to make something and I saw the Bandito Scarf on Ravelry and jumped right in. I started working it in Caron Paints, but didn’t think the drape was right and so I put that on a fancy stitch holder (re: bright blue yarn) and set it aside. I went to the stash bins and pulled out some deep purple Simply Soft and knew that the drape would be perfect for this. The pattern was easy to remember and then when I was getting close to the end, I thought about the bind off. I didn’t want to do the regular bind off and didn’t think that a purl bind off would be what I was looking for either. Then I remembered the Owlings and the sewn bind off. That will be perfect! And it is…but it is also the slowest bind off in the history of knitting. It took me over 4 ½ hours! I am not exaggerating. I started on Monday night at exactly 8:00 p.m. I watched General Hospital and then Castle. Then I watched QVC for an hour and then at 11:00 I moved into my bedroom where I continued to bind off for about fifteen minutes until my hand hurt so bad that I wanted to cry (I honestly think I have Carpal Tunnel, but I digress), so I went to bed. Then last night as soon as I got home I turned on Grey’s Anatomy and bound off through an episode and a half. I don’t recommend it. I mean I do for the look, but when you are trying to finish a last minute gift, you really don’t want to spend two days binding it off! It looks great with the copper shawl pin though. I will have to get photos after Christmas because I just wanted to get that in the box before I started second guessing my choices.



Due to my aforementioned injury (lower thumb/wrist/arm pain), I am taking a few days off of knitting and just trying to not go insane. I tried to read last night, but from the combination of sheer exhaustion, pain and pain killers (very mild generic ibuprofen), I could not really concentrate enough to make a real dent. My arm is feeling fine today, sort of and I would love to cast on the Linoleum dishcloth tonight. I guess it will be a “game time” decision.



I use knitting for two things, one is a hobby. I have always wanted a hobby and after trying my hand at a few different things, this one I have actually stuck to pretty sincerely. Next it is a diet mechanism. I find that when I knit at night, I don’t snack. And by not snacking and making some lasting changes, I have managed to lose 20 pounds. I am a large girl and so it may not look like it on the outside that much, but on the inside it is like losing 50 pounds. Even with the holidays and not sticking so closely to my plan, I have maintained my loss and not gained any back. In the coming weeks, I am going to be starting up my weight loss blog again and will link to it when I go “live”.



I always think about holiday traditions this time of year. The things that you see in the movies that people do, the caroling by fire, the stringing of popcorn and cranberries, the big family gatherings. Yeah, we don’t do any of that. Our traditions of late have been to do the WWW Christmas Eve with my sister and her family on the web cam, Christmas breakfast with my aunt and Bob and then Christmas dinner at home with my two aunts and Bob. I am pretty okay with our traditions. Sure it would be great to be with my sister for Christmas. To sit on Christmas day and feel luscious yarn and knit fabulousness. It would be great to go outside and build snowmen (provided it ever snowed!...still waiting Mother Nature!) with the nephews. But it is hard when you live far apart and everyone has that little thing called work to deal with. Eh…it is what it is.



Speaking of work, it continues to go well. I have Christmas Eve and of course Christmas Day off this year. I am looking forward to just doing the last minute running around on CE. See the craziness that commercialism has made the holidays. I don’t complain though…I love it. It is like crack for me. I just can’t get enough. Well, yes I can. Too much stimulation makes me a little crazed, much like a young child, I just want to cry and be alone.



I wish all my readers, I know there is one, a very Merry Christmas and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy the days and are happy and healthy. And just in case I don’t make it back, wishing everyone a safe and healthy New Year. Please don’t drink and drive. Too often we lose precious people to accidents and nobody wants to remember 2009/2010 as the year someone died. So happy holidays to you and yours.



~Ldy Pngn

~~Heather

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Oy!

Oy….it’s been a while again. No excuses. Just straight into the post.


Things have been kind of crazy lately. I spend 98% of my non working time knitting. I am almost finished with my Christmas knitting and it feels great! I feel so wonderful about it that I have started to make my 2010 knitting list. How crazy is that?!?! I hope to make a lot of things in 2010. It is two fold really. I am starting on my weight loss journey. Or rather, getting back on the road. The holidays have provided quite the detour into food city. Today was a huge food fest at work. Our inaugural Festivus. We did it without the airing of grievances and naked wrestling though. We also didn’t have the traditional Festivus pole, but we were assured of one for next year. Really the day was all about getting the women of the office to cook food and bring it in for the men. They won’t admit that, of course, but that was the impetus behind it. It was fun all the same and we will be eating for the rest of the week! That being said, I need to get back on track so that I can lose 20 pounds by Valentines Day. I want to be thinner for next year’s Festivus. Well that and I want to buy a costume for next year’s Halloween event. Something that is not the Fat Lady Singing! So, how does knitting fit into all this? Well, when I knit I don’t snack and snacking is packing…on the pounds. So, more knitting and less eating is my 2010 mantra.

Yes, you read right I am so close to being done with my Christmas knitting! Which means I am that much closer to being done with my Christmas buying and knitting! I made a good portion of my gifts this year and I am happy about that. I still did do the store bought items though too. I think the only people who are not getting something knit by me are my nephews (I can’t knit Legos) and my brother-in-law. Everyone else gets something made by Heather. I am proud of each and every project too, which is a bonus.

I did my first lace project that was completely error free. You know how it is when you are working on a lace project and you forget a yarn over, or you forget to knit two together. Yeah, I did each and every row 100% correct! I can’t tell you how happy I was. I am usually always knitting two together on the in-between stabilizing rows, you know the knit all stitches/purl all stitches row. It was on the Noble Cowl I did. It is beautiful and so incredibly soft and delicate. I want to make another one and bump it up a needle size just to make it more roomy. I have a double chin and thicker neck than most designers, so a bump in needle size and the same number of stitches will be perfect I think. I hope to start on it soon.

I have being knitting dishcloths galore. I am standing at ten of eleven right now. I might throw in a twelfth if the bug bites. I did a set of four blue cloths for my aunt. I did a set of four green cloths for a dear friend. I also have almost a set of three pink cloths for a “just to have” gift. I may pick up a candle to go with the pink cloths.

I knit my first gloves! Fingerless, but still my very first pair of gloves! I love them. I have to make many more. Now that I am no longer a glove virgin, I can bust open my glove book and make elegant gloves…just as soon as I bust my stash and buy more yarn for them.

Stash busting! That is another part of my 2010 goal. 2010? Doesn’t that sound so Space Odyssey? Hmm…no flying cars, but computers do control lives. Any ways, I have a large stash of cotton! OMG Cotton! I also have some acrylics and some fingering weights to get busting. I have donated some of my old acrylics, some ugly wools, and some god awful Homespun. I am donating it to a local offender treatment program. I work for the parent corporation and used to work at the facility. These men are so crafty, it will be interesting to see what they make out of the yarn.

I have so many to do lists that it is insane. I have not set up our Christmas tree yet. I was going to do it this past Sunday, but the day just slipped away from me. I hope to go out to the garage tonight and pull it in and let it warm up. It has been below zero all week! We haven’t broken -3 at all this week. My boys have been cooped up in the house and the effects are starting to show.

The boys. Oh, my dear Cooper is having a sharing problem. He just does not want Elliott to have anything. Every time Elliott gets a toy, Cooper goes over and takes it away. He even has issues with Elliott eating. Eating! Just does not want him to have anything. I feel so bad for Elliott sometimes. He just lets Cooper take the stuff and goes and lays down or goes to his little house. I know they need to be outside in the fresh air, but this fresh air will kill them. I could not believe this morning when I went out to go to work, their was a dog running down the alley. Who is leaving their animals out in this? It is one thing for me to just wear a sweater as a jacket, but I am a 33 year old larger woman, not a scrawny dog without opposable thumbs.

Sickness. I have been ill free! I got both of my flu shots, seasonal and H1N1. I got them for free too. I tell you my job has so many perks it is almost obscene. That coupled with my routine bi-weekly massages keep me healthy…or as close to it as I can be.

Well I have gone on long enough about a lot of nothing so I think it is time to wrap it up. I hope to take photos this weekend and then I will post all my fluff for you to see. Perhaps if I get that tree up, I will take some photos of my favorite ornaments for you.