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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Holiday Hindsight

I wonder why, with hindsight, every year we let ourselves become overrun and overwhelmed during the holiday season? I was thinking about it last night, every year I feel stressed and just like everything is going to collapse and how next year it will be different. But it isn’t. I am still stressed about finding the right present, having enough presents, having grand presents, making something special for those people that can appreciate a handmade item. I always feel that I should be baking grand, decadent treats and I don’t like to bake, so then it feels like it is a form of torture to have to do that. The fact that no matter what I do, I can’t keep a room clean for more than 20 minutes because I always have bags of stuff lying around waiting to be wrapped.


I used to love to wrap presents and now I just don’t want to take the time to get everything out and then put it all away. To say nothing of the fact that I suffer from gauge retardation. I either feel the item is fifty feed wide or three inches small and I cut the paper wrong almost every time. Then I am sitting there wondering if it is okay to have part of the bottom of the box showing and debating that it is the bottom, but always resigning myself to the fact that that is not proper wrapping etiquette. I no longer do bows and very seldom do ribbon. I would love to wrap everything in a gift bag for two reasons, it is so much easier and they are reusable. We are also on a gift wrapping diet, meaning that we are not buying new gift wrap until this old stuff that we have been collecting for the last five years is used up. I love how some of the most beautiful wrap they have like 5 feet of, yet the plain old gold roll has about 500 feet of wrap and appears to multiply like rabbits. Long gone are any matching ribbons and bows and any bows that we do have have been smashed and flattened and there is no breathing life back into them. Tags we have a plenty as well…sort of. We have tags, but some of them are a little too…gaudy for my tastes, so I use those for people who appreciate the tackier things in life.

Tis the season to start thinking about starting fresh. I think every year I decide that I am going to do better organizationally and budgetally as well. I have been preparing my bill book and various budgeting spreadsheets (because if you are not going to keep up one, you may as well not keep up five or six). I try to plan my days down to the very last moment before bed. I never schedule time for feeling icky sicky or time for when a book is really good. I don’t schedule time for when I have to cast on six different times because I screw up the fifth row of a lace pattern or when I am sure I counted correctly and then at the end, I don’t have two stitches to k2tog. I don’t plan for those nights when work was pure hell and all I really want to do is stare aimlessly at the television, or even those nights where I become so involved in a hockey game that I have to rant my opinion to everyone.

I have been trying for the last few months to budget my money, but again I suffer from a disease known as Spontaneously Purchasing. It is quite debilitating to my bank account and often leaves me stressing even more over trying to find money to cover foolishly purchasing a load of Christmas tunes on iTunes that I listen to for all of three days before I want to rip my hair out. I don’t start my gift crafting early enough, even though every year I swear that August is early enough even if I take a three month break! And now I have Nook and so I think I need to buy books and then I look at my credit card statement and think really? I bought five ten dollar books? They are collecting cyber dust on my shelves. I have to charge my Nook from lack of use, not from overuse. But it is always that way this time of year. I just can’t seem to find the time to do that kind of stuff.

But I have a plan for the new year and this time it is going to stick. Yes, I said that last year, but this year I really mean it. Who are we kidding? I have made it my life’s mission to procrastinate as much as possible, when if I just did it when I thought of it, I would be a much happier person. This is the year. I can feel it.

I can also feel that I have let this blog go long enough without some regular updates. So I have a plan for that as well. I am a total list keeper and I am going to come up with a list of days to blog and maybe even some different topics. It will be fun, just you wait and see.

I have no pictures today. I have some, they just are not with me on my flash drive. I will get to them later…as always.

In case I don’t make it back, have a very happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate, make the most of it and of your loved ones. This has been a whirlwind, yet somewhat magical season in our house this year and I wish that for everyone.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hair Club for Santa?

Oh how I wish I would listen to myself! I started on the Itty Bitty Toys Santa last week and after a fitful night of extreme increasing with the most difficult of materials (Lion Cotton & US 3 dpns!), I finally had that damn thing started. Flash forward to last night and somewhere around the third period of the Wild/San Jose game and I came to the conclusion that this version is not meant to be. I made some bad choices along the way and now I am planning on starting over…in a few weeks.


So where did I go wrong? Well, first I used 100% cotton heavy worsted with size 3 needles. Then after I got that dreaded body done, I used Knit Picks Comfy for the head. Comfy is at best a light worsted. So at this point I have a rather large body and a pathetic little head, but still I forge on. Next I have a Santa hat that is too big for this guy’s head. But not to worry, I can manipulate it with stitching to look okay. Then I knit his beard, out of 100% no give cotton again and so I have a beard that is too big for his face. But that is not even the best part, instead of satin stitching to “fluff” the beard, I had the best idea I have ever had. Why not use fun fur? Let me tell you why…it looks like he had this idea to trim his hair and then glue it to his face. It is awful, Hair Club for Santa! It didn’t stop there though. I decided to get his arms done and fist they look to small. He looks like a T-Rex with stubby little arms and some more hair on his cuffs. Right now he sits there legless looking like a freak. He cannot be saved. I think the best thing to do is to quietly put him in a dark place and just pretend like he never was.

I have pulled out some Knit Picks Comfy (a much more user friendly yarn) that I wanted to use to begin with, but I feared that by using cream instead of white, he would look like a Santa who doesn’t bathe. But, KP doesn’t have a white or a black in Comfy. So, I think I am going to use Shine sport with a strand of Palette for those white/and black areas. Grumble! Such a disaster.

To save my sanity, I have used the Lion Cotton to cast on another Susan B Anderson project, the Apple dishcloth. I am 2” in, hopefully tonight, things will go smoothly in my house and in Dallas, where my beloved Penguins are taking on the Stars (who seem to be a bit hot this year…maybe getting rid of some dead weight is just what they needed. But not tonight, tonight we need the big W). I love Wednesday nights! There is nothing on regular television, but there seems to be plenty of hockey to satisfy my intense thirst! I was so itching for some last night, that I started to watch the Montreal/Columbus game…in French! Thankfully they speak English on the Toronto broadcast station and I caught some of the Toronto/Ottawa game.

I don’t have any photos for you today. I took some, but I just didn’t get them off the camera. I finished up the Per Orla cloth and an embroidered flour sack towel. Does anyone know what you can use that ginormous towel for other than as a towel? My mother is funny and doesn’t want to use it as a towel, not that I can blame her, I think that it could dry a small family it is so huge.

I am still searching for an elf name. I am thinking about pulling something from the family tree that has been growing leaps and bounds. One of these days I have to sit down and figure out who all these people are and how they are related to me. I am hoping that somehow I will find that we are related to someone famous like a past president or Clive Owen. Eh…maybe a hockey player is more likely? Actually I don’t think we are related to anyone of note. Except, me. I was on television a few weeks ago. It was sheer horror that I was on the news for the entire piece. Non-speaking (thank god!). I was coerced into attending a filming for a local candidate by a friend’s husband. I didn’t even live in his district! Oh well, I did get to shake hands with the Governor and his dog (that dog gets more applause then the Gov!)

Well someone on facebook noted that there is 52 days until Christmas. That seems like a lot to me. I am happy to have those days, as I am not done shopping or crafting. And if it were say five days away, I would have totally missed Black Friday! That is the best day of the year!

Okay, so I have to get back to some business matters.



Happy Crafting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh what a tangled web one weaves...

I don't know if it is the time of year or if it is because I don't have a million projects planned for giving, but I seem to really be turning out the projects.  Okay, so they are little, but for me if feels like I am getting a bit quicker!

Here's what I have been working on:

I found a great site for some super cule embroidery designs. Urban Threads!  What a great site and I came out of that shop with a ton of cool ideas!  This is their Cobweb Corner on a flour sack towel.  Did you know how ginormous a flower sack towel is?


Here is Shelby's Myrtle Tyrtle for Christmas.  I just love the shell.  This is a Lion Brand crochet pattern.  I used some Bernat Cotton in Emerald Isle and Royal Palm


Here is Cooper's Manta Ray.  I think he is going to just love on this!  He was a quick one night project!  I couldn't feel two fingertips on my right hand for a few days, but other than that no problems!  I used some Peaches & Cream in Charcoal and Sugar & Cream in White


A trio of treats for Halloween.  These worked up really fast.  A one night project...three for all of them!  All it takes is some Lion Cotton in Grape, Sugar in Cream in White (with a little black) and some Peaches & Cream in Orange.

These are the MontMartre Gloves that I made for Chritmas.  I loved the Picot cast on and the double wrap/drop stitches.  These worked up super fast.  I think it only took a few hours each glove.  I used Knit Picks Gloss dk in Blackberry.


Here is the Magic Elf that will be joining the family on Thanksgiving Day.  Until then, he is hanging out watching mostly hockey and Hawaii Five-0!  I used Knit Picks Comfy worsted in Serrano, Cream and Grass.  I added some holiday sparkle poms I purchased at Joann Fabric & Crafts.


And finally Frank!  This pattern was so cute and I was ahead of schedule so I decided to work him up.  I had a partially used skein of Sugar & Cream Hot Green and nearly a full skein of Lion Cotton Grape.  A little black and white and this guy worked up in just a few hours (much faster for the quick draws out there.)

In other news it is quite rainy here right now and we are expecting snow this week!  Just in time for Halloween.  Our corporate office is doing the trick or treat thing on Friday, but I am off (yay!) for a doctor's appointment (boo!) so I won't be participating. 

As if I didn't have enough stuff going on in life, I have decided to try to tackle the family tree over at Ancestry.com.  My mom's side of the tree poplated fast, so I have been working on my dad's side and finally we have some information.  The most interesting thing I have found is that my great grandfather (my dad's dad's dad) beat a man in December 1928 and a week later the man died from that beating.  Wesley was charged and now I am trying to find out the outcome.  I am making a trip to the Archives in mid November.  My aunt said that it was likely my grandfather didn't know about the event as when his mother died, his grandmother raised him.  I have found a photo of his grandmother!  It is quite exciting to see where you come from.

I think this is the earliest I have ever been done shopping for my nephews!  I have all of their Christmas presents and that makes me happy.  I picked up something for Mom today and I have one thing for my sister and one thing for my brother-in-law.  I am trying to make a list of ideas for everyone.  So, it is likely that I won't share the deets here until after Christmas.

Well Sunday is winding down and it is time to start planning for the week ahead.  I hope to be back soon with more to tell and show!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I was going to...(with photos)

I was going to do detailed project info, but time is getting away from me and I just loaded everything into Ravelry (LdyPngn) so go there if you want the deets.

First up is some embroidery I did for a knitting bag I gifted.  Note, canvas is not overly friendly.

Next we have Zoe Zoloft (happy pill).  She looks a little evil.  I am still contemplating giving her some hair.

Here is Skule.  He is one of Lionbrand's Halloween ornaments, only he turned out much bigger than I anticipated (I am sure it has nothing to do with me using a larger hook).  I found him to be quite ugly, but Elliott found him to be a good little chew.

Here is Miss Emmaline's tattoo.  It acutally kind of wraps around her tail from the top.  I am undecided about the placement of her new piercing.  It looks a little questionable.

Here is the Milo sweater I did witht he owl cables.  I love it.  I really love it with the pink, but I have a photo below with white for a boy.

Here is the bag of knitting goodies I gifted.

Here is the Owl hat I did to go with the sweater, only it doesn't go, so it is just in the box right now.  I just think it is so cute.  The yarn is really soft and super slippery (Knit Picks Shine Worsted)

 I have had this Happy Feet yarn for almost three years now and I just love it.  I have been using bits and pieces of it here and there.  I decided that some little baby socks needed to be knitted up and this was the first ball or variegated I pulled out of the fingering bin.  So cute!  And what is best about baby socks, I get to feel like a sock knitter only I don't get second sock syndrome.

 I am helping a friend start knitting again and she wanted to do the Maine Morning Mitts for a gift and so I thought before I could help her, I should work my way through one in case there were some unexpected surprises.  There was one major surpise.  They knit up super fast!  I had one done before I even knew it.  Two DVR shows and I have a mitt.  Now I have two and my friend was 2" into her first on Wednesday.

Since my boys, well at least Elliott seems to like the stuff I make, I thought that I would make Christmas gifts for the fur children this year.  This little fishie is going to go to Bella (maybe Shelby).  It is all crochet and stuffed up with a squeeker inside for endless hours of annoyment  fun.

 I really wanted to do some leggings for baby and so I though the quickest way would be to crochet them. I pulled out some random yarn (you know in case it didn't work) and turned out these little cuties.  I love them, but hate the yarn (Cotton Fleece).

Here is a matching hat that I really don't like, but no offense to any designer, because this came out of my noggin.  It is so plain. Perhaps a nice flower is needed.  Not to mention that I didn't work in continuous rounds but joined and so there is some visible ugly seam like thing on the back.  Blech.
 And what little ensemble would not be complete without some mitts.  I still think the little darlings will scratch themselves because I can see little fingers poking out of the holes.
 And another view of the leg wear.
 And here is the way Hoo Are You? will be presented, as Jenny had a baby boy. 
 This is Caspian.  I don't know where the name came from, but when he was finished, I said, "What is your name" and he said, "Caspian".  It works because his brother is Orion.  I just love the way these snakes look when finished. They look a little naughty at the beginning, but then I have sort of a sick mind at times.  And they seem to take forever.  But they don't it is just endless knitting in the round.
And that is what I have been working on.  I am ready to start something new tonight.  Or rather I was ready, but I keep forgetting to make a copy of the pattern so that I can make notes on it.  I am going to try to remember to put it in my bag for tomorrow.  So far this week's schedule is pretty open so I think tonight I will work on another fish or perhaps I will start on Cooper's Manta Ray.  I am doing all the children's toys in cotton as it seems to be sturdier and cheap, considering most of them are destructable little things.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am figuring out life

I am trying to figure out life. That is not really an excuse, but that is what I am using for not writing for so long! It just seems like every time I go to write, something happens and I don’t do it. I have loads of photos to share, but I thought that I would wait to post those until later and just use this post to catch you up on some stuff. Well that and I don’t have the photos with me to post!


We are fully into October now. Holy Pumpkins Batman!?! How did that happen? One day it was August and then next September had vanished. Crazy times. I am still doing the school thing. I have been focusing a little more on Accounting at the moment than Criminal Justice, but I have a plan to start reading Criminal Procedure this week. Yay! I am fully through two modules now. I did fantabulous on my exams. I started doing some accounting refreshers on my own and that is turning out to be loads of fun. Note, NO sarcasm in that line. I really am loving it.

Towards the end of September, the new Fall season started and surprisingly, I have nearly two nights a week free that I don’t watch much, if anything. On Monday the only thing I watch is Hawaii Five-0 and dvr Castle. On Wednesdays, there is nothing. I have been using some of my time wisely. On Wednesdays I have been meeting up with a lady to help her get back into the knit thing. And when I am not doing that, I am trying to study or clean. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my big crafting nights because there is a ton of stuff on that I watch. And finally Friday’s have some stuff going on.

This past Thursday the NHL season opened, so I am fully tuning into games now. Unfortunately my beloved Penguins have not heard a word that I have said and are playing pretty shitily right now. Yes, that is a word. Hoping to get back on track tonight. Fingers crossed everyone. We cannot go 0-3 to start the season. I think the Avalanche might be back in action tonight as well. They just made the long trip back east and I think are up against Philadelphia. Blech. Friday night I attended the first of three US vs Canada games here at home. I left after the second period when the score was 4-1 Canada. It was fun and so crowded. Who knew that so many college students would turn out for a hockey game? The team’s first official game of the season is this Friday in Missoula. They are at home on the 22nd and 23rd. I just love hockey season.

I have completed several projects to post photos of. I am quite excited. Just have to get them off the camera and uploaded. I think there might be one or two over on Ravelry if you are there. I am LdyPngn. I just did a pair of fingerless mitts on two circulars. It is funny to go from dpns to two circs. I am going to start another set of fingerless this week some time and am trying to figure out which needles I want to use. I am thinking dpns though. They are a little fiddly at the start, but I think that they will be the better choice. I am finally going to use one of my fancy books for a pattern. I have looked through this book about a hundred times and everything seems so dainty, but I found these gloves and I think they are perfect for a friend. A new technique too. Picot edgings.

I made a trip to Bozeman this past weekend. It was a spontaneous decision and it was a nice trip. They were having homecoming and we got to see part of their parade. It looks like a great parade. I may have to remember that for next year. I picked up some super soft yarn, the name is totally escaping me right now and a fabulous baby sweater pattern. And other than a couple of magazines and a few swap items from Michaels, I bought nothing else. I don’t know whether to be happy I showed so much restraint or sad that I wasted a good trip. We will lean towards happy right now.

The family is all good. I think. Mom is doing good. She is now working four days a week, taking Wednesdays off. I don’t think she has quite found her stride on what she is going to do with that day, but she will. It is still relatively new to her. Elliott and Cooper are doing just fine. They have had a few little arguments and spats here and there, but seem to be the best of friends other than that. Cooper is definitely getting older. He still likes to cuddle, just not as much. I was pleasantly surprised this morning when Elliott climbed into bed for a morning snuggle, much to Cooper’s dismay. To get back at me, Cooper ripped out my bathroom garbage. I don’t think he much cared for the Windex paper towels though.

I think all is fine with my sister. The boys are now in third and first grades. I just can’t believe that they are getting so big! It makes me a little sad that in just five years, Niklas will be a teenager. And I will be nearing 40, but that is something else entirely.

Health wise I am a little concerned. I had some lab work drawn a couple of weeks ago and I got my results and I am at a really high risk for some cardio event. That is code for heart attack. I have made an appointment with my provider and am going to try to figure something out. It is really weighing on my mind. I am trying, but it is just so damn hard. But that is all depressing.

What else? Work is fine. It is a little slow right now, in case you couldn’t tell. But when it is hopping it is hopping and when it is slow, it is slow.

So I promise to be back with some photo goodness soon. I plan on uploading photos tonight and will get them uploaded by tomorrow afternoon! I also vow to be a better blogger and write more often. I need more readers to keep me motivated. Hell, I need to know I have readers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Hexaourney

I have embarked on a new journey.  It all started when I was looking for something other than granny squares to make and I stumbled upon the thought of making hexagons.  After searching for a pattern, my darling sister directed me to Attic24's wonderful tutorial and before I knew it I had the pattern memorized.  I am using my cotton scrap yarns in the variegated colors first.  Currently I have 25 hexies completed and I still have a little bit of scrap yarn to use up.  I will have to make a decision about what to do after I have used my scraps.  I have qutie a stash of cotton yarn, both in variegated and solid colors, so I don't fear running out.  But, if I should run out, well I may have to make a gigantic order!  How much fun would that be?!?
I am doing singlets that I will stitch together later, rather than joining as I go.  I am probably one of the only people who loves finishing work!  I love to sew by hand, so the thought of joining all these hexagons is quite appealing to me.  Strage, I know.

So, I settled in this afternoon and measured a handmade quilt that I have to get a rough estimate of what size I am looking to make this hexaghan and utilizing those math skills we thought were ridiculous and a waste of time, I have determined that my target grand total will be 160 hexagons!  I was expecting to have to make WAY more than that.  I am giving myself another week of doing some "fun" stuff before I have to start supplementing with gift crafting.

Here are a few photos of what I have done right now...

And so it began with one of my favorite colorway, Raspberry Swirl


After one evening and one day off


They blend rather well with my quilt, no?


The Leaning Tower of Hexies...I love that my parents are looking on in the background!


And the tower fell...

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Warning: This Post Contains Photos!

I would really love to say that “I can’t believe it has been so long since I have last written”, but in honesty I can’t say that. I realize it has been a long time and I feel guilty about it. But, you didn’t miss a thing! I basically checked out the entire month of July. All the steam I had going into May and June fizzled somewhere around the 4th of July! I finished one book in July! One (1) O-N-E, One! That is beyond disappointing. I didn’t do any studying. And today I paid the ultimate price. I quickly read my final chapter and when I took the test, I miss checked a box and instead of my perfect score, I got a 95%! I am a bit devastated by that. I am vowing to put in the full effort from here on out!


I let my crafting slack as well. I was able to get two projects completed in July, the Princess & the Pea from Itty Bitty Toys and a secret present for my dear sister. I almost eeked out another, but alas it was not meant to be and Orion the Snake clocked in August 2nd.

I got some much needed cleaning done though. For the last few weeks I have been working on getting rid of some stuff, destashing and just cleaning up. My bathroom is done and I am super happy with how it looks. I also rearranged and cleaned up my tiny living room and it is the most relaxing and enjoyable place to be and today I finally just cleaned up the bedroom and the whole package is very enjoyable right now. I was even able to get some crafting in and work up a dishcloth and an itty bitty cloth for a swap I am in.

Work is well work. What is there really to say about it? I have good days, I have slow and long days, and I have frustrating days. Usually the frustrating and slow and long days go hand in hand.

The boys had a spa day last Wednesday. I think I was more happy for them than they were. They were good and they look awesome! We have had some thunderstorms the last few days and Cooper is beside himself with worry. Surprising he seemed less afflicted on Friday when we had an all out storm. The winds hit such speeds as to break a long standing pine tree in half and take down a power line in the next block. We were without power for about an hour and a half and that is a long time for us. It was odd, there was nothing that we could do. After about an hour, I went to check to see how far reaching the outage was. As soon as I got into the alleyway, I could tell it was close and not as far reaching as I had thought, or was it hoped? Anyways, all ended up fine, except for the poor people’s fence and shed.

In just a few short weeks the kids will be heading back to school. How jealous I am sometimes. There are times where I wish I could do it all over again and make different choices. I am fairly happy with my life as it is, but there are some things I would change. Specifically I would change my course of studies in college. I would have been more focused and chosen a much more direct course of study than leaving it so open ended.

I am making changes in my life. It is slow, but I think that I am on the right track and in a year I hope to look back and see a definite difference. But, life is good and I am happy.

I will leave you with a few photos…



Dear sweet Emmaline waiting for the computer

The Princess and the Pea ensemble

Orion, the seemingly orangish snake

Cooper

Elliott (ignore the socks on the floor, this is an old pic)

Oh, my how did that get in here?

Monday, July 12, 2010

RR: The Apprentice

The Blurb


Boston detective Jane Rizzoli hasn't completely recovered from the near-death experience at the hands of a serial killer (The Surgeon) that left her scarred and scared, but that doesn't keep her from going after a copycat murderer whose modus operandi is disturbingly familiar. Warren Hoyt may still be behind bars, but Jane thinks there's a connection between him and the man the police call the Dominator, based on the way this new fiend subdues and violates his victims before he kills them. Political interference from an FBI agent who seems to know more about the Dominator than anyone else only intensifies Jane's determination to solve the case. When Hoyt escapes from prison and teams up with his blood brother to take revenge on the policewoman who put him there, the pace of this truly frightening thriller picks up and drives the narrative to its violent conclusion

My Review

I was excited to jump into this second Rizzoli & Isles book. But, it took a lot of pushing to get me through it. I never really felt that pull to get me hooked. If it wasn’t for the premier of TnT’s Rizzoli & Isles looming near, I would have set this aside and picked up something else. The author, Tess Gerritsen, has a tendency to “lecture” the reader with, what I would call really useless information that does nothing to drive the story. In The Surgeon, she endlessly displayed her medical knowledge by long, in depth depictions of surgeries that had nothing to do with the story at hand, nor any “b” story. In The Apprentice, she takes us on the most boring forensic lectures. First the Alternative Light Source lecture and later hair and fiber lectures. These lectures were disguised as dialogue between forensic techs and the detectives. It was like reading a criminalistics text book (which I have done!). Finally when that was exhausted, she found her way with some meaty, story related dialogue and descriptions. As in The Surgeon, she has a way of using the Warren Hoyt character to deliver some history lessons, that again, seem to neither interest or further along the storyline.

We are introduced to Dr. Maura Isles in this book, but unfortunately we are given a general overview of her character and not really “introduced” to her. The interaction between she and Rizzoli is minimal.

A few things that I was expecting from this book that Gerritsen didn’t deliver was the closure from Rizzoli’s shooting of a suspect in The Surgeon. I also was looking for Thomas Moore to reappear, and while he did, it was brief and unrewarding. A driving force in the last book was the way that Rizzoli’s collegues treated her and in this book, while she is still driven to prove herself, the “mistreatment” was not there and was not explained away. Does Detective Crowe respect her more after The Surgeon? Or is he still an ass? We don’t know, it is never discussed. I was surprised to see less of the behavioralist in this book as they were dealing with another obviously disturbed individual.

I hope that future Rizzoli & Isles books, trend away from this serial killer mode and that we see some more of the personal lives of the characters. At this point I don’t feel that I really know anything about Jane Rizzoli other than she wears bad suits and tries to be a ball buster. I know a little more about her family after this book, but still nothing about the real her. And I know next to nothing about Dr. Maura Isles.

I won’t be picking up the next book anytime soon, but I will give Gerritsen another chance or two (only because I already have the books).

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 bookmarks

Recommend: Fiction readers, police procedurals, csi groupies, gluttons for punishment

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RR: 8th Confession

THE BLURB


A killer picks off San Francisco's super-rich one by one–without a leaving so much as shred of evidence behind. And a street preacher and patron saint to the homeless is brutally beaten and left to die. What secrets lurk behind his mantle of holiness? Meanwhile, danger strikes close to home when an unexpected romance threatens to tear the girls apart. In the 8th Women's Murder Club, the stakes are high, but the truth is shrouded. Who will confess?

MY REVIEW

This was the first book written with Maxine Paetro that did not feature a full on trial. I must say I appreciated that a lot! I enjoyed all three stories that were going on in the book, two main and one “throw in”. Again, something that I had just read about and learned in “class” showed up in this book and I was all giddy because I knew what the “Allen Charge” was.

Patterson has a way of gripping the reader at the very beginning. There are several books where I have not been engrossed until a quarter or more of the way in. JP does it right from the very first line!

I blogged the other day that I was very nervous about how the Joe/Lindsay relationship was going to play out in this book. I am a HUGE fan of Joe’s and sometimes I just want to “Gibbs Smack” Lindsay for the things she does. I was very much appeased with the ending and I am very much anticipating the arrival of 9th Judgment. I just ordered it today!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Recommendation: Fiction fans, Patterson fans, WMC fans

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flamingo Red Intensity

Well I have really been slacking on posting. I do apologize for that. A few months ago, I was letting things slide because I was busy playing games. Now things are sliding because I am busy reading and studying. I do more of the former than of the latter. I began a study at home Criminal Justice course and I am totally loving it. I am loving it so much that I am going above and beyond and supplementing my course materials with additional texts and internet resources. I have taken two exams so far and have received a perfect score on both of them! That is so exciting for me. I could just take the exam, look up all the answers and be done with it, but I don’t want to cheat myself out of a great learning experience. My method right now is to read each chapter, then re-read and highlight important stuff. Then I make notes off of the highlighted material, type it all up and then take my supplemental learning and expand on concepts. Then I take the test. This last test, I took the test first as a pre-test to see where my knowledge base was and while I didn’t score perfect, I didn’t do as bad as I thought I had done. It is great to see that I have retained some stuff over the years without any formal training in the area. Hindsight is always 20/20 and how I wish I would have changed my major back when I had the chance. But I have this chance now and this is definitely something that, if I were to have one, would be on my bucket list!


I have been doing a ton of reading as well. I know that a book a week doesn’t sound like much, but it really is, when you think that I work all day, or most of the day and then I still try to make time to do the other stuff I want to do. I have read four books in the month of June and am going to try to push myself to get a fifth one done in the next three days! I think I can really do it. Especially since the book is really good!

Crafting, however has taken sort of a back seat to all my learning. I was able to finish up an iPod cozy for a friend to go along with the Poppy bag I did a few months ago. It took me way longer than it should have. And then I couldn’t even really follow the directions, so after a while I just had to make it up as I went along! Frustrating. I got it done though and my friend really liked the set. Yay! I am now starting on another baby Abagail sweater for a new one due soon. I hope to finish up the garter top portion tonight and then start on the lace bottom tomorrow evening. I am taking this week off of “school” for the holiday. *snicker* I would like to get some mattresses made this weekend for the Princess & the Pea set. We will see what happens.

Work has been a bit slow going this month. I am not quite sure why. An entire week where the office was pretty much empty and then just slow with the bills. I thought it would have been a bit more hectic, but I now imagine that will be next month. Our fiscal year ends on Wednesday. Thursday will be like jumping beans around here getting A/R done.

Mom will be heading out to Washington the end of the month to spend some time with my sister and nephews. I think all parties are looking forward to it. I am looking forward to a few days by myself, but not an entire week! Especially in the middle of summer! Long days, hot nights, ugh!

Fireworks went on sale last week and it has just been terrible the past few nights. Poor Cooper is scared on loud noises and these just make him so nervous. He sticks pretty close when in the house. Elliott it doesn’t phase one bit. He is perfectly oblivious to it. I am crossing my fingers that our neighbors won’t partake in the festivities this year. I have to work the day after the 4th because of the way we are set up we get paid for the holiday if it falls on our regular day off. So I really need to have a good night’s sleep. Or at least I want a good night’s sleep.

I am returning to my old medical provider this week. I have tried two others and well neither one worked out for me, so Kathleen said she would take me back. I am so thankful for that. I should be able to get some written prescriptions and then I can get the pharmacy all back in order. It is so messed up right now, they are not even using the right provider for my refills!

Ooh, I got my hair cut yesterday. I was in bad need of a new style and so I found one that I liked, and that was super easy and so I am rocking a bit of a spiky cut. Not super short as in years gone past, but something that has some texture and most importantly, style to it. I also have bangs again. I had been sweeping them off to the side and well that was not working so great for me.

Let’s see what else. Got a new cell phone, a Samsung Intensity in Flamingo Red. It is so pretty. It has a full keyboard too. Yay! I was never much of a texter, but now I do it, I am such a hypocrite. It is great. The only thing is that I lost all of my ringtones . So now I have to find some new ones and I am having a hard time finding some of my favorites. Bummer!

I have been thinking about my writing some more and getting back into the practice. I have some stuff from years gone by that I am thinking about working with again. I have some bad stuff still in existence too, but there are some things that I think I could really improve on and use. Still gathering some background and ideas first. I am at least writing out sketches and ideas. Next I think I will try to outline and flesh something out. That will be a new experience for me. Well not totally new, when I did my short story in college I did an outline and I think that if I do that again, I am most likely to finish something!

Summer has finally hit our area of the world. I could have been totally happy with the cool temps and rain, but everyone else thought it was the end of the world! So now we are sitting in hot cars and stagnant air. Not my idea of fun. I am have a little burn on my shoulders and neck area. I expect it to brown over any day now. I went to my very first football game this weekend. A little game between some of the very daring men who work for my company and a contingent of officers and jailers from the local police department. The police had twice as many players as we did and were in probably a little better shape. But our team won and that is all that matters. Well really what matters is that a lot of people had fun and some money was raised for local causes. I still know next to nothing about football though. I know hockey. I am all hockey all the time. Eh, I don’t think it is likely that we will see them playing hockey.

Well that is all I really have for you right now. I know I have some photos on my camera that I need to get off. I will put that on the list of things to do this week and see if it gets done!

RR: 7th Heaven


THE BLURB


A VERY PUBLIC DISAPPEARANCE

The teenage son of California's ex-governor, Michael Campion has mysteriously vanished. Known as the "Boy with a Broken Heart" because of his incurable heart defect, Michael grew up under the eye of an adoring public. The pressure on Detective Lindsay Boxer to find Michael is overwhelming. When she finally does get a lead, it's devastating...

A DEADLY RASH OF ARSONS

While working on the Campion case, Lindsay and her partner, Rich Conklin, also investigate terrifying fires that are destroying some of the most beautiful homes in San Francisco–and killing their owners in the flames. But when Lindsay invites her friends in the Women's Murder Club to help her uncover the arsonist, the blazes suddenly start to rage much too close to home.

MY REVIEW

This was another fun book to read. The pages just seemed to turn themselves after a while. I do have some knit picking to do though.

First, in the last couple of books during the court proceedings, it frustrates me that when they do the closing arguments, the prosecution goes first. Normally the defense goes first and then the prosecution. It is reverse from the opening statements. I find that very frustrating. I know in this book they talked about Yuki’s “rebuttal” but they didn’t really write it, just as an afterthought.

I liked that this book pushed Lindsay and Joe closer. I can’t tell you how much I want them to be together and have a happily ever after. I fear that Lindsay is going to do something stupid and lose Joe.

A little disappointed they chose to rush Claire’s pregnancy along and not really explore it like they could have. I think it could have been fun and entertaining.

The Campion story did little to really engage me and hold my interest for very long. The arson case, however, was the real meat for me. As much as I love the procedural parts, I really long for the intimate, personal life parts. I am a sucker for the “home life” stuff. What really surprised me was when Claire had the baby, there was no mention of Edmund, her husband being around. An oversight? Or a victim of over editing?

Final Thought: This was a very fast, entertaining read. It captivated me and pushed me to let things slide and finish this book.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Recommendation: Fiction fans, Patterson fans, WMC fans



You might be wondering about my rating system when I say that I really liked or loved a book, but then don’t give it a 5. I am a tough grader and to rate a 5, a book really has to make me sad that it didn’t continue. It has to have me begging for more. If I rated all the books I like/love at a 5, then there wouldn’t be any room for a really spectacular book.

Monday, June 21, 2010

RR: Monkeewrench



BLURB


When people start dying in strange ways in Minneapolis, everyone wonders what the murderer will do next--everyone except the employees of Monkeewrench Software, who are all too aware that their new serial-killer computer game is the model for the crimes. They go to the police with the what, where, and when of the next murders and quickly become suspects themselves as the killer strikes again exactly as they predict. Does the closely knit group of coworkers know something they're not telling about the all-important who and why? The missing pieces come eventually from an unlikely source as a rural Wisconsin sheriff links his own chilling case to the Minneapolis murders. The two teams of detectives--one from the big city and one from the small town but both with their own quirks, love interests, and insights--provide the sparkle in this engaging debut thriller by a mother-daughter writing team who lace their suspense with humor a la Harlan Coben

LdyPngn’s Review

I received this book in a Ravelry swap sometime last March and I just put it on the shelf thinking that I would probably never read it. Well I am so happy that I found it when I was cleaning because I absolutely loved every minute of it!

The mother-daughter writing team that is P.J. Tracy is outstanding. I loved everything about this book. I loved the chapter length, while not as compact as James Patterson, they were not overly long and unnecessarily drawn out. I loved the characters from Sheriff Mike Halloran and his best friend Bonar to Detective Leo Magozzi and the Monkeewrench crew. The dialogue was spot on and in parts so incredibly humorous, you can’t help but laugh out loud. It was easy to find your way around with vivid descriptions and insight. And while there were a lot of peripheral characters, you were able to get to know them a little and you could feel what they felt. My most favorite reference was to Roadrunner of the Monkeewrench crew when Gino referred to him as the “human pencil” due to is full length, trademark yellow lycra biking suit he wears.

I cannot wait to pick up more of Tracy’s books. Another well done series premiere that will cement this duo of authors in my hall of fame.

Rating: 5 out of 5 bookmarks

Recommendation: Fiction readers, murder mystery, detective/police procedural

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Do You Think You Can Dance?

In honor of So You Think You Can Dance, here are my top thirteen favorite performances




1. Ramalama – group routine by Wade Robson

2. Mercy – Twitch & Katee by Mia Michaels

3. Shake – Destini & Jamile by Shane Sparks

4. Knock on Wood – Nick & Melody by Brian Freidman

5. Gyrate – Travis & Benji by Shane Sparks

6. We Will Rock You – Sara & Jesus by Jean-Marc Genereux

7. Hip Hip Chin Chin – Danny & Lacey by Dmitry & Heidi

8. Knock on Weood – Sara & Neil by Doriana Sanchez

9. No Air – Katee & Joshua by Napoleon & Tabitha

10. Bleeding Love – Chelsie & Mark by Napoleon & Tabitha

11. Alone – Jessica & William by Mandy Moore

12. Jeanine & Brandon – Tetsujin by Louis van Amstel

13. Din Da Da – Jose & All-Stars by Tabitha & Napoleon

 
Join the fun at thursday-13

Monday, June 14, 2010

SWF Looking for Time

I think I owe you all a couple of posts. I just have been so preoccupied with stuff that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do it. I remembered late on Thursday that it was Thursday and then I couldn’t come up with a 13 that was interesting. I even looked over some of my old stuff, but decided that My 13 Favorite Letters of the Alphabet was bad the first time I did it, and there was no need to repeat it! And then I wasn’t feeling Friday Fill Ins either! Oh the horror!


I have been reading a lot lately and it seems like I am always cleaning. Every night it seems that I am picking up crap off the floor and stacking it somewhere else and then putting it back on the floor. I have this problem with putting stuff away when I am done with it. Being that I am tired of “cleaning up”, I have dug out my copy of Kick the Clutter and hope to read some of it to figure out how to get myself streamlined and simplified. I keep everything! I need to just get rid of it. But I need someone to tell me how to pick and chose what to keep and then tell me what I should do with it. If I can conquer my house, then perhaps I can conquer what is in the garage.

I spent a good portion of Sunday morning cleaning out my small living room. My small living room that is packed with furniture. I have taken out my indoor/outdoor wicker love seat and in just about 45 minutes to an hour will be receiving my brand new green recliner! I cannot tell you how happy I am. I have been wanting one for quite a while but I thought that they were much cheaper than they are! I was sticker shocked that is for sure. But when Mom turned me on to a local sale with free, yes FREE delivery, I just couldn’t resist. And that they could deliver it today and that I could leave a little early just sealed the deal. I have been doing little happy dances thinking about it. Well not so much when it came time to get that love seat out of the tiny room. I had to take the door off the hinges, jammed my fingers a few times, but finally it is in storage and is no longer my problem. The room is pretty much ready to go, I just have to put a few things in place once it is in and I can realize its true size.

I don’t have a lot of time to be cleaning or playing around tonight. I have decided to sort of go back to school. And when I say school, I mean study at home. I am doing a criminal justice program and I get to totally set the pace and pay the price. I was so happy when my first set of materials arrived last week that I promptly set about getting a plan and schedule done. Then on Tuesday I got right to work on chapter one. And then I stalled. I was supposed to study on Wednesday, but game six was on and I really had to see Chicago hoist the Stanley Cup and then Thursday So You Think You Can Dance was on and then Friday I was busy cleaning and Saturday I was busy slacking off and then yesterday was more cleaning, plus I wanted to finish my book and well here I sit on Monday with only chapter one done when I thought I would be taking my first exam today. I suck at life. But tonight, I have to read chapter two. Even if I have to forsake eating and sleeping, I need to get that done. I have a lull at work this entire week and it is the perfect time to do my notes and such. Shh…don’t tell anyone.

The weather was glorious the last couple of days. In fact last night I went to sleep without any covers. It is all due to change though the next few days as someone mentioned yesterday that we could see snow on Wednesday. Yes, you read that correctly, I said snow. I live in Montana and it has been known to snow on the 4th of July before, so really it is not unusual or hard for me to write that.

Speaking of writing. So many little signs have been popping up telling me that I should start writing again. First, my sister got me a book for my birthday with writing exercises, then I found all of my old writings and by old I mean four years or more. Plus all these things have been flooding my brain. So, if I can find the time, I think I will do some concept sheets and scenes. I don’t know that it will ever work itself into any complete volume, but it will at least let me see if I have grown any over the last four years or so. I was reading some old stuff today and I am a bit embarrassed by some of it and then I am in awe of some of it as well. Don’t expect to see the next great tome anytime soon from me.

I just wonder where I expect to find the time to study, read, craft and write?  Anyone have some extra they can send my way?

I hope to have some project photos and posts up in the next few days. So stay tuned.

RR: The Surgeon

I should preface this with saying that I am not good at book reviews.  I have searched for some templates/formats but I have found nothing that isn't for a book report.  I don't want to talk too much about the book because if you haven't read it you might hate me and then you will stop visiting my world.  So, with that, here is my sucky review of Tess Gerritsen's, The Surgeon

BLURB


He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him “The Surgeon.”

The cops’ only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

Cordell’s careful fa├žade is about to crack as this new killer re-creates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands-and savors-the secret fears of every woman he kills.

Filled with the authentic detail that is the trademark of this doctor turned author, and peopled with rich and complex characters-from the ER to the squad room to the city morgue-here is a thriller of unprecedented depth and suspense. Exposing the shocking link between those who kill and cure, punish and protect, The Surgeon is Tess Gerritsen’s most exciting accomplishment yet.

LdyPngn’s Review

I used to fantasize about being a writer. About writing that great American novel that would propel me to the Best Seller List. So in preparation for that, I read several “how to” books. One of the first things I learned was that you were never supposed to detail violence towards children, animals or women. I don’t know that many authors read that book.  I'm pretty sure Tess Gerritsen didn't.

Tess Gerritsen takes you on a grisly journey of depravity. The Surgeon is not for the faint of heart!

I read this book at this time because of the TnT show Rizzoli & Isles, two of Tess Gerritsen’s main characters, although Isles doesn’t appear in The Surgeon. I am glad that I read it and even though I know that Anige Harmon is going to be portraying Jane Rizzoli, I did not “see” her as I read the book. I actually saw Sasha Alexander (with her dark hair circa NCIS), the actress who is going to play Maura Isles was I read the book. I can’t explain why I saw this flip, but I did.

This book had me wanting more. Well more dialogue and more action, more Rizzoli. It also had me wanting less. Less medical talk! It is sort of like an episode of ER mashed with an episode of NYPD Blue. Yeah I went old school there. While I appreciate Gerritsen’s medical background and fully acknowledge her knowledge, I could have done with less of that.

Like a lot of authors, this book was big on detail and a little low on dialogue. That usually changes as authors become more familiar with their characters and I hope that happens as I ordered the next three books in this series.

The detail of the crime, the mutilation, the horror these women must have lived through was gritty and a bit unnerving, but just made this book so much better than if it would have been glossed over. I love the gritty detail. The juicy adjectives placed in just the right spots.

It was a thrill ride. I was looking for a little more closure to the Rizzoli/Pacheco incident. I wonder if it was victim to the editing process. I guess I will just have to wait for the next book to find out what happened.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Recommendation: Fiction readers, murder mystery, detective/police procedural, medical thriller, strong women, behavioralists

Sunday, June 06, 2010

RR: 6th Target

When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women's Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt.


And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department run flat-out to stop a series of kidnappings that has electrified the city: children are being plucked off the streets together with their nannies--but the kidnappers aren't demanding ransom. Amid uncertainty and rising panic, Lindsay juggles the possibility of a new love with an unsolvable investigation, and the knowledge that one member of the club could be on the brink of death.

And just when everything appears momentarily under control, the case takes a terrifying turn, putting an entire city in lethal danger. Lindsay must make a choice she never dreamed she'd face--with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.

This was my fourth Women’s Murder Club book in a row. And to be completely honest, it is my least favorite thus far. I was unhappy by page sixty and my unhappiness continued to grow. I was not expecting the sudden demotion of Lindsay Boxer and the promotion of Warren Jacobi. I did not like the way the sudden change was handled and the way both seemed to fall into their new positions with ease. I expected tension and a learning curve for both. I expected Lindsay to overstep boundaries because she was used to being in charge and I expected Jacobi to look to here for advice. What I read was in stark contrast to that. Jacobi seemed to ease into his job and had no problem commanding his former superior. Perhaps it played out the way it would in a real life situation, I just didn’t think that the entire human element was portrayed.

There were three main stories playing throughout much of the book. Once the “B” story, the Del Norte seemed to have wrapped up, the “A” story was introduced. The kidnapping story. The B story continued in the form of a trial and then there was the “C” story, the Blakely Arms. All that drama and then add in a snippet about a surprise pregnancy for one of the club members and a monumental breakup and you have a mish mash of stories.

The writers do a great job of keeping everything straight and strategically placing the stories throughout to keep you engaged, but they let some things slack this time around. Things I missed were the relationships and personal stories for the Women. In the two preceding books, there was so much focus on the women, and this time around, there was little. I did not like that the pregnancy was mentioned all of maybe three times. I would have thought that that would have been a huge conversation between the ladies and the authors seemed to have forgotten that little tidbit until the edits came around and then threw in a reference here and there. Also, the entire relationship between Lindsay and Joe seemed a little bit backburner after having such heat in the last two books. I have looked forward to that story line since Joe was introduced in 3rd Degree.

Overall the book kept me entertained and interested, but in so many ways it was a let down.

Rating: 3 out of 5 
Recommendation: Fiction fans, Patterson fans, WMC fans

Friday, June 04, 2010

FF: #2

1. Washington is my favorite place to travel to.


2. When I think about my childhood, I often remember "I'll double it for you".

3. Mom and Sister makes for a good friend.

4. The wind in the trees, the rain on my skin, makes me shiver.

5. Finishing a project is so exciting!

6. My best friend knows when I have something on my mind.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting off work, tomorrow my plans include knitting and Sunday, I want to knit some more!
 
Bored on a Friday?  Check out Friday Fill Ins

Thursday, June 03, 2010

52in52 I Quit You - Come Join Me WYC53

I am so totally quitting this bitch!  I don't need some sort of organized challenge that makes the shit up as it suits each person...it becomes less of a challenge.  So, follow me on my own challenge with my own self-imposed guidelines. 

LdyPngn (which I should mention reads Lady Penguin and not Lady Pigeon) What You Can in 53* or WYC53*.  And you know what, since it is my challenge, I am making my start date May 1, 2010.  You know why?  Because I finished more than 52 projects between June 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010!  And I started tracking May 1, so it makes sense.
*because sometimes you need an extra week.

Here are my guidelines


1. Use stash as much as possible for all projects

2. Knit at least two things for myself

3. Knit one shawl or wrap (may purchase yarn for this)

4. Knit/Crochet five (5) hats

5. Knit mittens

6. Knit twelve (12) dishcloths

7. Knit/Crochet twelve (12) stuffies for charity

8. Knit/Crochet one (1) blanket/throw

9. Knit something in lace weight

10. Knit entrelac/garterlac

11. Knit/Crochet twenty six (26) projects from patterns already in library

12. All projects must be started and completed between the May 1, 2010 - April 30, 2011 time frame!

Gah, I have no life!  I seriously work, knit, eat (way too much), read and sleep.  Occassionally I clean.  Oh and well I spend way too much time on the internet.  But if I had a life, you wouldn't all get to waste time reading my nonsense!  Silver lining!

My new philosophy is "No Crafting Under Pressure*"
*except at Christmas and birthdays oh and Easter and Mother's Day

Thursday Thirteen: At The Movies

Thirteen DVD’s I Own


1. Grease

2. Grease 2

3. Shoot ‘Em Up

4. King Arthur

5. From Hell

6. Hard to Hold

7. Closer

8. American Outlaws

9. Top Gun

10. Children of Men

11. The International

12. Duplicity

13. Beyond Borders

And yes, I am totally in love with Clive Owen

Join the Thursday 13 fun!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

WTJ Wednesday: Vol 1 Post 3


This was my most favorite page to do.  The directions (which are covered) said to drip something and then close the book to make a design.  I found these little sets of paint pots at Joann Fabric & Crafts for $1.00 and grabbed two and dropped my favorite colors and let the magic happen.

Cheating in 52

*Sigh* I am so upset. Last year I did the 52in52 project challenge on Ravelry and started and completed 52+ projects in the allotted time and so I was ready to do it again this year, only try to have more challenging projects. Well it officially began yesterday and there are already several finished objects for June. And by finished objects, I mean big mother projects. Two shawls, a large bag, a vest, a sweater and skirt combo, a sock. I just don’t feel that it was in the spirit of the challenge. Finishing something that you had 99% done doesn’t seem quite fair. I purposefully didn’t start something new over the long weekend waiting for the June 1 start. Had I done stuff over the weekend, I would have had completed projects too as I am sure some of the people just had to sew in the ends. That, in my opinion, is cheating and I am not down with that. So, I will do the challenge on my own. They even had other challenges this year with a points system. It is all a bit skewed and I just don’t like the direction the group is going with the new moderator. I think that she, in trying to garner more excitement, has completely destroyed the idea of the challenge.


That being said, I did wait and last night I started the Princess from Itty Bitty Toys’ Princes and the Pea set. I am using Knit Picks Comfy. I have the doll “finished”. I have to do her arms tonight and then get her hair installed, her face embroidered and then I can stuff her and sew her up. After that I plan on starting on a mattress. The project needs to be ready to go by August 10th so I am pacing myself as to not go completely insane and totally hate it doing it. Somewhere around 11 mattresses need to be made! I am thinking about cheating and doing some in fabric. I have loads of cute fabric lying around.

On Monday I worked up a couple of panels for a stained glass blanket I want to do. I fear it will be a long project as it is all garter and quite boring. 81 rows in the large panel and then 28 in the small diamond and 14 in the half diamond. Yeah it’s going to take some time. I chose the ugliest color to start it in too. I am using scrap yarns. I would have loved to have used Cascade Superwash (the pattern used Cascade 220), but that would be a bit spendy and I have loads of scrap yarn.

Part of my 52in52 goal is to use as much of the yarn I purchased prior to yesterday. I have lots to use up that’s for sure.

I also started my 52 books in 52 weeks yesterday as well. I am 100 pages into my first book, The 6th Target by James Patterson. I finished four books in May, so I hope to keep on the same track for the next year. I try to read at least 40 pages per day, but if I am having an off day, I am trying to read at least ten pages per day. I think I am averaging somewhere around 47 right now.

I am trying to journal more about time spent on projects. Sometimes I think people must think I am the slowest knitter on earth by looking at when I start and finish projects. That is not necessarily the case. I am a slow knitter, but sometimes I start something and then do something else and then come back. Like now, I will finish up the Princess body and then put it away for a while to work on some stuff for swaps and finish up a baby outfit (still waiting on the damned yarn to arrive). So, if I can note in my book each night how much time I spent on each project then I can really say, this project to x number of hours to make. Like last night, I spent an hour and a half on the doll’s body. And that baby outfit is going super fast…or was until I ran out of yarn. It shouldn’t take much tomorrow or Friday to finish up.

How funny is it to refer to tomorrow as Thursday? Okay, maybe not for some of you, but for me the worker bee it is quite lovely. I spent most of today doing all those little things that I keep putting off. Some filing, some cleaning, etc. Tomorrow begins the nitty gritty of the beginning of the month for me. It is also bank day and it will be crazy tomorrow because all the SS checks and welfare is deposited tomorrow. Joy.

Well I don’t have any photos to share. Hopefully later this week I will have something. I will post a Wreck This Journal later…after I take the photo. I am really excited about this and tomorrow you can check in for Thursday 13!

Friday, May 28, 2010

FF: #1

I am starting yet another new meme...Friday Fill-Ins
This is #178 my #1

1. Potato Chips -- the best food to take on a picnic.


2. Summer Lovin' Had Me A Blast.

3. One dollar flip flops.

4. To love someone is to live.

5. I don't take a long hike.

6. When I crave food, it's usually when I am depressed.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to knitting and cleaning, tomorrow my plans include switching out desks and Sunday, I want to just sit and knit!
 
Check out Friday Fill-Ins & join the fun!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday 13: Do the Shuffle

The First Thirteen Songs Using Shuffle on my iPod

  1. Waiting for a Girl Like You - Jordan Knight (Love Songs)
  2. Money Honey - Lady Gaga (The Fame)
  3. Xanadu - Olivia Newton-John (Xanadu Soundtrack)
  4. Whenever, Wherever - Shakira (Laundry Service)
  5. Feels Like Heaven - Peter Cetera & Chaka Khan (You're The Inspiration: A Collection)
  6. Maker Her Say - O-Town (O2)
  7. Womanizer - Britney Spears (Circus)
  8. Papercut - Jordan Sparks (Battlefield)
  9. Like a Prayer - Glee Cast (Glee - The Power of Madonna)
  10. Boom Boom Boom - Rare Blend (Coyote Ugly Soundtrack)
  11. Burning Heart - Survivor (Ultimate Survivor)
  12. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson (Number Ones)
  13. Children - Escala (Escala)
Join the Thursday 13 fun

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WTJ Wednesday: Vol 1 Post 2

I haven't done much on the Wreck This Journal project, but I thought I would share a little snippit of some stuff I have been working on.

First up is the Burn This Page feature.  Now, normally I shy away from setting things on fire, but since they said to I did.  I did use extreme caution and it is very much a work in progress.  Did you know that burning paper smells awful and arouses suspicion? 


Next was the Coffee page.  Now I am not really a coffee drinker, so I took this to mean you favorite caffienated beverage of choice.  So, here you will find some drips of diet Dr. Pepper and some of my favorite in blended drinks, Chocolate Chai Yoguccino!



I have some exciting pages coming up to work on.  I am hoping to get some done over the long weekend!  WooHoo...long weekend!

FP: Poppy



Finished Project: Poppy

Pattern Source: In Bloom
Begin Date: April 29, 2010
End Date: May 15, 2010
Craft: Crochet
Yarn/Paper/Fabric/Other: Lion Cotton - Poppy - Fat Quarter Fabric from Joann Fabric & Crafts
Needles/Hooks/Other: G hook
Notions: Yo-Yo maker for flower center: snap
Modifications:

The Journey: I saw this on someone’s project page and realized that I had the Happy Hooker book and so I got started straight away. Then it was time to do some swap stuff, so I put this on the back burner for a while and then was able to pick it back up in mid-May. I chose to line the entire bag instead of stopping just below the handles. I think it looks more finished that way. I used a bit of the lining fabric and my new handy dandy yo-yo maker to make the center of the crocheted flower. Instead of pinning the flower on, I sewed it directly on. I added a heavy duty snap (perhaps a little to heavy duty…) as a closure, although it might not really need one.

This is the perfect little bag to take with you to a movie or a quick trip to the store. It would be a fabulous little thank you/hostess gift or a great prize at a bridal or baby shower. I’ve been told that sisters would love one of these for Christmas and I imagine there is a friend or two that wouldn’t mind one either.