Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: What About Me

It’s been quite a while since I have done a Thursday Thirteen, but I think it is time to get back into the habit. They are fun and can be quite insightful.

Thursday Thirteen: What About Me?

1. My initials spell HAM – not sure Mom and Dad thought about that when naming me.
2. I am an Aries, but feel more like a Pisces.
3. My/The boys are my dogs, Elliott & Cooper
4. When I am alone and the radio is turned up loud enough, I am an awesome singer and can take on everyone from Fergie to Thelma Houston.
5. I go to bed fully clothed and sometimes wake up fully unclothed.
6. When I knit, sometimes I cheat.
7. When I crochet, sometimes I cheat.
8. I love hidden object games and puzzles.
9. I am a total spoiler whore! I have to know what is going to happen on my favorite and not so favorite shows before it happens!
10. I have a weird obsession with office supply hoarding.
11. I have random thoughts, like “have you ever seen a cow pee?” and “I wonder how long before an action movie has someone crash through an open sunroof using a parachute on a busy highway/roadway”
12. I have baby fever and no real hope of having a baby
13. I excel at procrastination

Interested in joining in on the fun? Visit Thursday Thirteen

FP: Finn

Finished Project: Finn

Pattern Source: Footsie Frog Amigurumi
Begin Date: 4/25/10
End Date: 4/27/10
Craft: Crochet
Yarn/Paper/Fabric/Other: Crappy Acrylic Vanna's Choice Olive
Needles/Hooks/Other: F hook
Notions: Fiber fill
Modifications: None

The Journey:
This little pattern just called to me. Such a cute little guy to say no to. I decided to go with a darker green and the only darker green I had was this Vanna's because it seemed a bit froggy to me. He works up really fast (I know it shows three days, but I do a little and then I do something else, then do a little more and then work got in the way too.)

Once I finished him up on Tuesday night, it was time for his naming ceremony, so I pulled up Nymbler and got to work finding a suitable name. Being green and all, I thought an Irish name to be appropriate and then I had Chris O'Donnell running through my mind because NCIS: Los Angeles was on and I remembered him as Finn on Grey's Anatomy, so he got his name and his brand spanking new name badge.

Finn is at home with his new momma Heather, who just happens to be my mom's assistant and who also happens to share my name and birth year and who took over her father's frog collection upon his passing. Reports are that she is quite pleased and I know that he is happy too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A So Sew Weekend

It is so amazing that we can have nice spring like weather one day and then frigid winter like weather the next. Today it is overcast, a bit windy and a tad on the chillier side of things. It was so overcast that I had to turn my office light on for a bit this morning. I am not one to turn my light on if I don’t have to, so it was pretty dark. It finally “lightened” up a bit so that I could turn it off. I much prefer the natural light to work in. Ha, work.

The weekend was chilly, it is a good thing I decided to do some ironing and sewing so I could burn my fingers and keep them warm! I had intended on cutting out the fabric for one of the car trash bags I was making for Mom, but once it was cut out, I decided to just sew it up. It went together fairly well and I was still motivated, so I cut and sewed the second as well.

And because I am not able to hold on to anything for any length of time, I gifted them to her early. Kind of a “congratulations you sold your car, here is something for your new car” gift.

I have loads of the base fabric left over to make myself some. I just want to find a contrasting fabric with some red in it. I have some more projects that I would like to cut the fabric for this weekend. I am dying to use some of this fabulous apply green and turquoise fabric. It is so pretty! So maybe on Saturday I will make another afternoon of sewing. Practice makes perfect right?

I picked up Sipalu again on Wednesday and eeked out two rows. Then I squeezed another two out on Thursday. Then I thought disaster had struck again, so I took out the waste yarn and put those stitches on another 32” cable. I think everything is okay. I think this project is much better suited as a summer project as it is hard to work on while watching television. And I definitely cannot work on it around others. I can’t talk and read a chart at the same time. So I think that I am going to get some other projects done while the prime time season winds down, as well as the playoffs and then grab my ipod and just zone out and work on it this summer.

I am working on a little amigurumi right now. Just two more appendages and some stitching and it will be done. I didn’t know how big it was going to turn out as the picture is quite deceiving. It is the perfect size for little hands or a desk though. I hope to finish up those two appendages tonight and then finish the eyes and have him or her already by tomorrow night. Then I have a couple of bag patterns that I would like to try my hand at. Plus I want to do the Itty Bitty Hippo from Itty Bitty Toys. I have some Happy Feet that I think will be perfect with a touch of Koigu for the pads on his/her feet. I love to knit and now crochet toys. I just think they are so much fun and take on a personality when you add their little face detail. I could totally see myself focusing on toys the way some people focus on socks and sweaters. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a sweater knitter. And it doesn’t look like I am going to pick up socks anytime soon either. So toys and bags it will be for me.

This first round of playoffs have had some interesting games. Pittsburgh has advanced and are awaiting either Washington or Montreal (my hope is Montreal). New Jersey lost to Philly and then their coach retired. Colorado put up a good fight, but ultimately fell to San Jose. Detroit and Phoenix are heading into game 7. Chicago nearly fell to Nashville and Vancouver was given a run for their money by Los Angeles, but came out on top. And Boston outlasted Ryan Miller and the Sabres. Nobody was swept in the first round and nobody could have predicted Washington and Montreal going to a game 7. Makes you wonder how the teams will regroup going into the conference semi’s.

The family has been well. Mom is continuing to work hard and I know some days she doesn’t see the end of one job and the beginning of the next, but rather them melding together. I see the daily frustrations getting to her and keep praying for the weather to get better so she can get out and work in her yard. We had a gate installed to block off the entire back of the house. The boys can no longer be on the other side or by the garage. This will be so much better and Mom can use that area for her flowers and she has some great plans. As I mentioned she sold the Taurus this weekend after having the ad in for one day! The first caller came and took it home for their granddaughter. The boys have been fairly good. They did have a little fight last Thursday. I think they are both protective of the little girl next door and she just loves them. So when one gets to close the other goes after the other. Cooper could use a bath. Well they both could, but Coop is supposed to be white and he is no where near that. I took him out on Saturday to brush him and give him a wipe down with bath wipes. It didn’t help. I think all it did was make him cold. Oh well I tried. He finally snuggled with me on Sunday evening. He hasn’t snuggled with me in quite a while and finally we were able to on Sunday. I was happy, I hope he was.

We are considering having a shed built. Just considering right now. Cost, size, placement are all factors before committing. The contractor who did the bathroom remodel is willing to do this so Mom is conversing with him about price and what nots. I will keep you posted.

Birthdays are coming in just a few weeks. I am getting ready to place my orders on Friday, as soon as I learn that the check is in the bank. I am just going to pay for shipping to get it here on time so I can mail it out. One will be early, I just hope the other is not late. Darn me for procrastinating and spending money foolishly. I am stuck on a Mother’s Day gift. Any ideas on what to get a lady who says she doesn’t want anything?

I am clicking along with How to Knit a Love Song. The writing is awesome and really flows. The chapters are the perfect size. I can’t wait to see what happens.

As far as the rest of my list goes, I did complete Where the Wild Things Are. Of course it is a children’s book so it took no time at all to read. I often wonder how some children’s books become phenomenal hits. When I first read this story I thought it was a little sad. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read any further. The little boy is sent to bed without dinner (do parents really do this? I never had that happen to me). So he goes off to this far away place and realizes (if I recall correctly) how much he misses him home (tear) and decides to go back, where the happy ending is that there is dinner waiting for him…in his room…alone. While I was very happy his mom brought him some dinner, I think it is sad that he is left to eat alone. Maybe I was just having a lonely day and was a little down, but really some of the scariest characters and stories (read Grinch) are hits among kids.

I wish I had a little girl. That would give me a legitimate reason to read the Junie B Jones series. I read a Christmas book in that series and totally loved it, but I can’t really justify buying the series just for me to read. I wouldn’t mind rereading some Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary stories as well. There are so many great lines of books out there for kids now I sometimes want to go back to that simpler time in life and take full advantage of summer reading challenges.

Sorry I don’t have more photos to leave you with, but I didn’t know that you would all enjoy photos of the screen shots on my games!

I will leave you with some Currents though.

Current Book: How to Knit a Love Song – Rachael Herron

Current Online Obsession: Google Reader

Current Craft Obsession: Crochet

Current Music: Sirius 3/8/1/36 & Glee Madonna Album

Current Games: CSI NY and Righteous Kill from Big Fish Games

Current Color: Green

Current Television Obsessions: Vampire Diaries/Grey’s Anatomy/Playoff Hockey

Monday, April 19, 2010

Could it be? Really an update? O-M-G!

April is just slipping away. The first week of the month was pretty eventful as my sister and her family visited. The weather was pretty typical for Montana Spring, meaning it was very cold. Their last day it snowed a touch making their drive home a bit longer and slower. It was a great visit. I learned how to crochet amigurumi and how to work that foundation chain/first row. I even sat down and finished a few projects. Little boys are exhausting by the way. I am totally amazed at how they just go and go and never want to take a nap or just relax. If only they had the foresight to know that they should take the time now to nap and relax because once they get older, they will be begging to do it and won’t be able to. Ahh…to be young again. Well I am still young because if 60 is the new 40, 50 is the new 30, 40 the new 20, and 30 the new 10! Hey, I should be getting recess breaks!

Work has been kind of crazy too. It seems I have been super busy this month! I am 96% sure it was that I took 3 and a half days off to visit with the family. But I have gotten a lot of little stuff done. I have a renewed interest in my ipod and have been going crazykins with aps! I am now utilizing a lot of my to do applications. I use the Franklin Covey one for work and am trying out a couple of different ones for personal use. I am a list fiend. I just love them. Oh and I have been playing video games like crazy too. Someone turned me on to Big Fish Games and the James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club games and I am addicted to puzzle games now. I didn’t crawl into bed until almost eleven o’clock last night and then I played on my touch for a while.

With all the game playing I have let my crafting slide a bit. Well that is not entirely true. I was all gangbusters on Monday and Tuesday about starting the Sipalu bag on Wednesday. I researched provisional cast ons and thought I had all I needed. Wednesday night arrives and at roughly six o’clock I settled in to cast on and got all the stitches cast on and started purling that first row and I was a stitch short! So, rrrriiiiiipppp. Cast on again, count five times, begin to purl (tight stitches having a hard time getting past the join, but I push on) and now I am two stitches short! WTF? How can that happen? So, rrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppp, cry, begin again. The third time is the charm right? I have all the stitches cast on, start purling, count to make sure I am on track, things going pretty good. Then, something weird happens, I can’t get the stitches past the join no matter how hard I try. How did this happen? I didn’t think I cast on super tight and once I actually go to work the stitch it is as loose as Madonna. Ugh. I finally realize that it is not going to happen, so I rip it out and wind my balls back up and put it away. Five hours wasted. Forward to Thursday and I spend some time watching more provisional cast on videos and find the one that makes the most sense. Crocheted cast on with waste yarn! Perfect. Work a full day, get a massage, have dinner, settle in with Bones and my hook and yarn. After two hours, I have successfully cast on and purled that first row. Did I mention that it was a 240 stitch cast on? No? I should have, because it makes sense why I bawled my eyes out after…I went to work that first row of the fair isle pattern and find out that I used the wrong color on that first row! The wrong color. The entire time I had been working on this, I had been using the wrong color! So, after composing myself and apologizing to the entire household for my meltdown, decide to, instead of recasting on, just tink back to the cast on. I reversed purled. Yeah, it took a long time to do that. I haven’t been able to really look at the project since then. I know what is waiting for me, a 32” US 2 circular with 240 pink stitches waiting to be worked in Marine.

So, I have been playing games rather than communicating with Sipalu. I did manage to eek out a few rows on my Masa bag. Just a few though. I have so much that I want to do that I feel guilty working on any of it! Can someone explain that to me? Because I just don’t get it.

I was so excited to find out that my local book haunt had Rachael Herron’s How To Knit A Love Story Song. I went right in on Wednesday afternoon and looked all around for it. I searched high and low. I searched children’s and the x-rated shelf (hey, you never know) and it was nowhere. I dreaded asking the horrid lady for help because she is so mean. But I did it and I asked and then she looked in the same place I had looked no less than five times and then she said, “It just came in today. Do you want it?” Believe me lady, I would have rather gnawed off my arm with my own teeth than ask you for help, so yeah I want it. So far, I have read the first chapter…damn games. Anyways, this leads in to my reading list. I have a small list of things that I want to read before the end of the year. I would like to get it all done by the end of summer, but I just never know when the reading bug is going to bite. My list includes:

1. How to Knit a Love Song – Rachael Herron

2. 3rd Degree – James Patterson

3. In the Dark – Brian Freeman

4. Kisscut – Karin Slaughter

5. Leadership & Self Discipline – The Harbinger Institute

6. 4th of July – James Patterson

7. Needled to Death – Maggie Sefton

8. The Trouble with Magic – Madelyn Alt

9. Heat Wave – Richard Castle (need to get a hold of this)

10. The Memory Collector – Meg Gardiner (need to get this too)

11. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

I don’t expect to read them in that order, but that is what I hope to read. I hope to finish at least one this month. Two would be great, but at least one. I guess I am running out of time, so I better get on that.

Has anyone every used the Kindle reader on Iphone/Itouch? I have the reader, but have never actually purchased and read a book on it. But, that would be a way to get The Memory Collector. I don’t know, I am kind of old fashioned, I like to hold the book and feel the pages. I am all for technology, but I could never loan anyone a book if it was on kindle. Hmm…have to really think about that. I would have no problem if they were a bit cheaper. I don’t see the point in paying five or six dollars for kindle edition when I can get a paperback for eight. Then there is always the electronic space consideration too. I guess I should check my library. I know they don’t have Heat Wave, but maybe they have the Meg Gardiner book.

Well I guess I will leave you with some pictures of some stuff I have been working on and finishing up.

First up, Blanche (Itty Bitty Toys, Itty Bear - Tofutsies yarn) for my Aunt's birthday

Next, some flip flop socks to go with my new Sketcher Tone Ups.  Just ignore the toe hair (it is a sign of good circulation in your feet...according to my mother)
Then we have ALL the yarn for Sipalu
Then an iCozy for the iTouch/iPhone
Then we have Meddy - my first finished crochet project (thanks to my excellent sister for walking me through this and totally fixing/doing her head)

Then we have my first solo crochet project - Hippy the Purple Hippo (I threw in a couple of jingle bells for a rattle and she is now at home with baby Addison)

My work in progress Masa bag

And finally some yarn that I am going to attempt to sew into something useful.